Have we become a nation obsessed with food allergies?
Obviously, according to a recent study, 19 percent of adults in the US believe they have a food allergy, but only 10.8 percent actually have one.
The study, published earlier this month in the online journal JAMA Network Open, found that even fewer people, just one in twenty, have received an actual diagnosis of a food allergy from a doctor.
The study also suggested that food allergies in adults may be more common than previously thought, as well as the striking numbers of people who respond to this slice of bread or piece of cheese.
During the study, researchers surveyed about 40,500 US adults about their food allergies and then assessed whether the symptoms they reported were "convincing" ̵
Pa participants were excluded if their symptoms were more likely to be related to an oral allergy syndrome or food intolerance, which often causes symptoms such as diarrhea or convulsions.
So what is the growing obsession with adults in the US today? Can not we blame the food too quickly for our feelings?
Catherine Monteleone, an allergist and immunologist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said that when people feel vague symptoms like headaches or fatigue, they often tend to accuse the food they've eaten.
"They want to find something that they can change to make them feel better … they want to find a solution," she said, "and so they look for: Well, I think it is every time I eat wheat, & # 39; and they'll somehow get involved and hope that clearing the symptoms will make their symptoms better. "
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The danger, she said, is that people unnecessarily cut food out of their diet, which can be vital to their health. He mentioned that some could be potentially life-threatening, as demonstrated earlier this month An eleven-year-old boy from New Jersey reportedly died of a severe allergic reaction to the fishy odor cooked at his grandmother's home in Brooklyn.
But like everything else, she said things could go too far, and apparently to the extent that millions of people believe they have a food allergy, if they do not, and start taking action when not needed.
"I think we're a bit obsessed with it," she said.
It's okay, she said, if you do not want to eat food or ingredients like gluten, she added, "It's harmful if it comes to a point where people lose weight or do not get the food they need "or are afraid of certain foods and take unnecessary steps in their lives.
The best thing you can do, she said, is obviously the extra step and will be reviewed by a specialist.
Spencer Kent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent  Find NJ.com on Facebook .
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