How common are life-threatening food allergies?

When allergic reactions to food become a danger

If people are allergic to certain foods, it can even lead to life-threatening reactions. A study should now clarify how many people really suffer from such a dangerous food allergy.

In their current research, the scientists at Northwestern University investigated how many people are affected by a life-threatening food allergy. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "JAMA Network Open".

How widespread are food allergies?

There are many people who assume that they have a dangerous food allergy. The question naturally arises: How many people are really affected by a food allergy that can have life-threatening effects? According to the authors of the study, an estimated 26 million adults (over ten percent) suffer from this life-threatening food allergy in the United States alone. Doctors found that about 19 percent of people in the US think they may be allergic to certain foods, even though their symptoms do not match a real food allergy that can trigger life-threatening reactions. These results are based on a nationally representative survey of over 40,000 adults.

Many people only assume that they are affected by a food allergy

The experts found that around one in ten adults suffer from a food allergy. However, almost twice as many adults believe they are allergic to certain foods, although the symptoms suggest food intolerance or other nutritional conditions, explains study author Professor Dr. Ruchi Gupta from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

If you are suspected of having a food allergy, see a doctor

Experts recommend that appropriate tests and diagnoses should be carried out by a doctor before people affected by certain foods are completely eliminated from their diet. If a food allergy is then confirmed, those affected should be informed of possible dangers and the correct way to deal with the allergy, including the detection of anaphylactic reaction and how and when adrenaline is used.

Why are food allergies so common in adults?

The researchers found that only half of the adults with a food allergy had a medically confirmed diagnosis, and less than 25 percent of these people said they had an adrenaline prescription. The researchers also found that almost half of adults with a food allergy developed at least one of their food allergies in adulthood. More research is now needed to understand why food allergies occur so frequently in adults and how such allergies can be prevented, says Professor Dr. Gupta.

What food allergies are common?

The most common food allergies were shellfish (7.2 million in the United States), milk (4.7 million), peanuts (4.5 million), tree nuts (3 million), fish (2.2 million), eggs (2nd Million), wheat (2 million), soy (1.5 million) and sesame (0.5 million). (as)

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Video: Food Allergy Anaphylaxis (December 2021).