WHAT'S UP WITH SO MANY FOOD ALLERGIES?
I remember growing up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and going to Oriole baseball games with my dad to buy fresh roasted peanuts in a paper bag. I didn't know one person with food allergies.
Now we have nut-free schools, food label warnings and ingredient disclosures on restaurant menus to prevent life-threatening reactions due to these allergens.
So what has changed?
Although research is still being conducted, scientists are saying that with each generation our 'gut biome', a community of hundreds of bacteria that live in and protect our gastrointestinal tract, has decreased. Dysfunctions in these microbial communities is contributing to diseases such as crohne's and cardiovascular disease.
It is believed that increased intake of antibiotics in children and reduced exposure to environmental factors like playing in dirt outside is decreasing the effectiveness of individuals immune system to fight off these allergens.
Instead the immune system perceives these foods to be invaders and begins to attack itself. The reactions can lead to mild symptoms like rashes, itching and hives to life-threatening symptoms like shortness of breath and anaphylactic shock.
Allergies are most common in children and they are frequently prescribed an epinephren autoinjector (epipen) to use in case of emergencies.
To be safe, doctor's are recommending that individuals with food allergies avoid them completely and to read the labels on food products, cosmetics, prescriptions, over-the counter medications, pet foods and toys.
Here is a List of the Top 8 Food Allergens
Milk Eggs Peanut Tree Nut (i.e. coconut, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews) Wheat Soy Fish Crustacean Shellfish (i.e. crabs, shrimp, clams, scallops)
Natural medicine recommends improving your gut biome with pre/probiotics and cleansing, boosting your immune system, decreasing histamine and taking antibiotics only when necessary to prevent your bodies resistance to their effectiveness.