How many people actually suffer from food allergies?

Over 15 million Americans today are suffering from food allergies and much more around the world. Food allergies are not as rare as one can imagine, any kind of food allergy is immunity respond by an individual’s body, a defense mechanism executed to terminate the unwanted components that one’s body might not take well. In addition, the effects of these allergies vary in terms of person or immunity or just the key food factor involved.

An allergy to food can not only affect our immunity but can also exhibit serious reaction on the skin, our digestive tract, even our respiratory systems. The most serious cases of an allergic reaction are on the cardiovascular system. These symptoms may appear within in a few minutes or can also take hours after taking the food. These reactions can vary from mild to life threatening. Anaphylaxis is one of a severe condition caused by a food allergic reaction.

If the symptoms and reactions have to categorize in the order of their intensiveness we might differentiate them into two categories Mild and Severe.

Mild symptoms:

  • Itching on skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Uterine contraction

Severe symptoms:

  • Obstructive swelled up throat
  • Heavy breathing or asthma
  • Change in Skin coloring
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • A weak pulse
  • Sense of “impending doom”

Statistics of people having food allergies

Studies have shown that over 15 million people just in the US have food allergies out of which almost 5.9 million people are below the age of 18. That is one out of every 13 children have food allergies. In laymen’s term in any average classroom to a least, two children will be having food allergies.

As reported by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention there has been a 50% increase in prevalence and awareness between the year 1997 and 2011.  Just between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s there has been a rapid growth in child hospitalization.  Every year in the US there has been about two hundred thousand people coming in for immediate emergency care alone for allergic reactions. Every three minutes, a person is reported with an allergic reaction to the emergency room.  While most of the food allergies are reported during adulthood, but an estimated of 15% of school going children have had food allergic reaction in school.

Statistics of the kind in food allergies

These allergic reactions are caused due to certain food groups and about 170 food items are reported to cause these reactions. 8 Major food allergens are;

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Wheat

Just alone in the US between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergy has tripled children.

Cure

There isn’t any particular cure for food allergies, but as our elders say ‘precaution is the best cure’, all one can do is get diagnosed and be aware of the specific food one might be allergic too and avoid the substance.