Why talk about allergies?

Courtesy photo

Since the inception of Health Springs I’ve been addressing issues surrounding food allergies (among other health and wellness posts). I’ve even shared my personal struggles in hopes of shedding light on living with the condition.

But why talk about allergies at all? And, do its effects really have to control your life?

First, anaphylactic shock from food allergies can be lethal. Just this year alone, multiple individuals have suffered it effects, including the following children: Giovanni Cipriano, 14, Natalie Giorgi, 13, Connor Donaldson, 12, Ethan Williams, 14, Tanner Henstra, 11, Adrian Gutierrez, 8, and Maria Santarelli-Gallo, 12. A few were at school, some received epinephrine injections, many were aware of their allergies, but all of them died from something that was preventable and treatable.

One report indicated that, “40% of people need a second or third dose of epinephrine during a severe allergic reaction.” Research has also concluded that, “food allergies in children have increased by 18 percent since 2007 and that 90 percent of these allergies are from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.” A 2010 study in the journal of Pediatrics also found that 8 percent of children have at least one (food) allergy.

Now, in general a fatality is unlikely if someone with serious allergic reactions receives the appropriate dose(s) of (non-expired) epinephrine quickly. But how does living with allergies affect life in general?

A new 2013 study takes sides on living with this condition. Conducted by the Imperial College of London, the study was recently published in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy in the UK, and suggests that allergy sufferers (and their families) are, “over-worrying about the risk of death from the condition, and that the chances of dying from anaphylaxis over a one year period is 1.81 in a million.”  In fact, it stated that “suffers are more likely to be murdered or die from accidental causes than die from a food allergy.” Researchers analyzed data from 13 global studies over more than three decades.

“(These) findings (aren’t) meant to belittle the concerns of people with food allergies,” said Dr. Boyle, one of the researchers at Imperial College. “(But) it helps put the risk into perspective, particularly as worrying about severe allergic reactions can impact a person's quality of life.”

What do you think about Dr. Boyle’s comments? Do you believe food allergies in children are overrated or are they justified? I’d love to hear what you think.

In fact, as 2013 draws to a close I like to know what else you’d like to read about in the upcoming year. What interest you in the health and wellness arena? And, what types of conversations and topics do you want to engage in at Health Springs in 2014?

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

(2) comments


This is a tough one, because it's so individual depending on what you have experienced personally. For me (my daughter has severe food allergies), I don't want the fear of an anaphylactic reaction to dominate our lives. Of course, we need to be vigilant and have emergency meds close by at all times. But, we and she also need to enjoy life. As with any situation, if we are paralyzed by fear we aren't enjoying life. I like how Dr. Boyle puts things into perspective. I don't think he's saying that allergies are overrated, but rather that we don't need to live in fear.

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro

Wow, ConsciousEatery you have a lot to deal with. Having a child with allergies is so difficult. How old is she? What are her allergies and how do you cope?

It's so true--the fine line we walk when considering living life without fear and still being prepared for emergencies. It sounds like you're found balance though and have a great perspective. What's your secret?

Dr. Boyle's comments raises a question that I think all sufferers should consider. Thanks for your feedback and for vising the site. I appreciate your input.

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