Food Allergies


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Allergy food concept. Food on wooden table

Allergies are a very common part of life. Despite this, there are many people with slightly worse allergies to many different things. In my opinion, one of the hardest allergies to deal with are food allergies. According to, 32 million Americans have food allergies, with the most common being milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish allergies.
The CDC reports that in the last 20 years, the prevalence of food allergies in children has increased over 50%. Some food allergies, such as milk, egg, wheat and soy, are able to be “outgrown,” and resolve themselves before the age of five. However, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are generally lifelong.
Food allergies range in severity, with some being minor reactions and others leading to anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. reports that every three minutes someone is sent to the emergency room because of a food allergy and 200,000 people in the United States require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food every year. With the start of anaphylaxis, the only effective treatment is the drug epinephrine, commonly known as Epi-pens.
Despite the most severe reactions to food allergies, these types of allergies lead to other effects on the quality of life. One in three children with food allergies reports being bullied. Food allergies also very heavily limit activities in life, such as not being able to eat at certain restaurants or not being able to eat food that’s produced in a factory that produces the types of foods someone is allergic to. Along with these, caring for children with food allergies costs U.S. families nearly $25 billion annually.
Food allergies also increase the chance of other medical conditions. According to, children with food allergy are two to four times as likely to have other allergic conditions, such as asthma or eczema. People with food allergies and also have asthma may be at increased risk for severe or fatal food allergy reactions. Fatal reactions from food allergies could happen at any time, but teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal anaphylaxis caused by food.
While food allergies can’t be prevented, it’s important to be educated on how to handle someone’s food allergies or what to do in the case of an allergic reaction. Knowing these things can not only help the person affected, but could save their life.