Are you allergic to nuts, milk, shellfish, eggs? NIH takes aim at food allergies

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.nuts

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is a component of the NIH. Recently, it has started a push to increase research into food allergies by awarding grants for studies. You can read more at their website and even check on participating in a study. If you qualify, consider signing up.

But first, you may want to make sure yours is actually a food allergy.

Food allergy treatment, statistics and questions

Right now, all you can do if you are allergic to a food is stay away from it, but 50 percent have an accidental exposure and reaction on an average of every 2 years. Allergy shots don’t work. Take antihistamines for mild allergy symptoms and carry an epinephrine kit that automatically injects for the severe reaction.

There are around 30,000 life-threatening reactions every year. 100 to 200 die. Six to 8 percent of children under 4 have food allergies. A lot grow out of the allergy except of peanuts. Food allergies occur in 3.7 percent of adults.

No one really knows what is causing these allergies. Some babies are actually born with it. Most develop it in the usual way you develop allergies. You are exposed to the food with no problems except your body thinks it is a danger and develops antibodies against it. The next time you eat it, wham, you have a reaction.

Do you have it?

The NIAID has some good info in discerning the difference between an actual allergy versus a food intolerance . The difference can be deadly.

Do you have any experience with food allergies that might help our readers?

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3 Responses to “Are you allergic to nuts, milk, shellfish, eggs? NIH takes aim at food allergies”

  1. Mark Salinas Says:

    I know many people that would fall into the “food intolerance” category. Isn’t food intolerance often a preferred issue….either you like or you don’t? So much obsession that one convinces themselves that they are allergic to dairy for example. I do have a son that is allergic to nuts, specifically walnuts and peanuts. At school they do have a nut free table that he can sit at during lunch….although it is disheartening to see him at a table all by his lonesome.
    We do test and fortunately he does seem to be less allergic each year to peanuts….walnuts are a different story! Very useful article. Thank you!

    Mark Salinass last blog post..Bouncing for Fun and Health

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H Says:

    Hi Mark:

    Food Intolerance, by NIH definition, is very broad including those you mention plus bacterial or viral food infections, lactose and glutein intolerance, etc.


  3. Mark Salinas Says:

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Mark Salinass last blog post..Maintaining a Healthy Routine

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