Allergies and Asthma

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After years of Western medicine writing off food allergies as rare and with only a small set of possible symptoms, the research is coming to light. In just one example, a recent survey identified a correlation between food allergies and asthma.

As reported by Jewish Health Associate Professor of Pediatrics Andrew H. Liu and his colleagues in the November 2010 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, food allergies are more common in people with asthma and may actually contribute to asthma attacks. Dr. Liu felt that food allergies may be an under-recognized trigger for “asthma exacerbations.”

The survey included over 8,000 people, aged 1 to over 60, and had their blood tested for antibodies to peanuts, milk, eggs, and shrimp. This was reportedly a very comprehensive study, and the first to look at specific blood serum levels and food allergies across the whole life spectrum (not simply infants and toddlers).

The subgroup of participants who were identified as the most sensitized to one of more of the food allergens were twice as likely to have an asthma diagnosis. To add insult to injury, those who currently have asthma were 3.8 times as likely to have food allergies as those who had been previously diagnosed with asthma but no longer have it.

The researchers also found that the odds of having food allergies grew with the increasing severity of asthma. Participants who had visited an emergency department for asthma in the past year were almost 7 times as likely to have food allergies as those who had ever been diagnosed with asthma but not visited an emergency department.

As of yet, the researchers were not able to determine if food allergies cause asthma attacks or the two are actually manifestations of a severe allergic profile.

Overall, the researchers estimated that 2.5 percent or 7.5 million Americans have food allergies, and that the prevalence of food allergies was most common in children (ages 1 to 19), males, and non-hispanic blacks.

Source: National Jewish Health – November 2010 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

2 Comments

  1. I just subscribed and I am so glad there is finally some recognition and information about allergies and the misery that goes with them. I have had food, mainly dairy, drug, chemical, plant and environmental allergies for years and there has been little information until recently. I am self taught about that and had so many reactions to different medicines that in the early 70s, I started to learn about herbal and homeopathic remedies and they have been my life saver. I am healthy except for my multiple allergies and symptoms and these alternative remedies have kept me on track. I am on several antihistamine, decongestant and steroid meds to keep control of sinusitis, asthma, and skin problems, but for the most part I use alternative remedies. Thank you for this website. I am interested in the IgE testing. Not sure I have had that, but the link here did not work. My biggest problem is where to buy dairy free products, in my small town and area. If not enough people buy it, they don’t carry it. I hope your website grows and grows.

    • Hi Jeanne, thank you for sharing your story and I do hope that you find some health answers. This page does need some updating! That said, our website does continue to grow – you’ll find nearly 7000 pages of content here to help 🙂

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