According to experts, advocates and the CDC, food allergies are a public health concern and are seemingly on the rise. But what might be the cause? Have social media and the internet fooled too many of us into thinking we’re qualified to diagnose ourselves?
On this edition of DataDish: Your Trusted Serving of Science, Dave Stukus, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, sheds some light on these and other questions about food allergies and allergen management.
Here are a few podcast highlights:
- What’s the difference between food allergies, sensitivity and intolerance? True food allergies are an immune reaction to one or more specific foods. They are very different reactions than an intolerance or a sensitivity.
- Can adults get food allergies, or just children? Some people can outgrow their food allergies. Others are lifelong or can occur as one gets older. Shellfish is one example where reactions occur later in life.
- How can we find out whether foods contain allergens? The FDA requires packaged foods in the U.S. to identify the presence of allergens in plain English. It’s critical for anyone with a food allergy to know which foods contain the offending allergen. Always read the label of packaged foods for allergen safety.
- What should people do if they’re diagnosed with a food allergy? Dr. Stukus provides his insights on the role of Registered Dietitians and social communities where the day-to-day challenges can be shared with others.
- What might the future hold for food allergy treatment? Dr. Stukus talks about the promising and not so-promising advances in immune therapy, skin patches and ongoing education and awareness.
As food allergies become more prevalent over time, you will likely know someone living with a food allergy. We hope this podcast helps you better understand how this issue affects them and the 15 million Americans dealing with food allergies every day.