The latest news on baby allergies

The latest news on baby allergies

Are the allergies really on the rise? Can you suddenly get one? What is oral desensitization? Allergy-talking is all over the news!

Why are food allergies on the rise?

There are a lot of different theories to why food allergies are on the rise:

  • hygiene hypothesis – which stands that because we live in a cleaner environment, baby’s immune systems don’t become educated enough and start overreacting to normally harmless things
  • exposure to new foods – people having access to international foods, actually expose their immune systems to unknown to the system, potential allergens that may cause baby allergies

How to get an accurate diagnosis?

The best way to get an accurate allergy diagnosis is to have an allergy blood test to measure antibodies against eggs, shrimp, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and another suspected triggers. Some doctors do skin testing but it might be a little trickier because sometimes only a fresh food, not an extract, will cause a reaction on the skin.

How to differentiate food allergy from food intolerance?

Food allergies are associated with immune responses like itching, rashes, hives or difficulties with breathing. Digestive problems are usually a consequence of an intolerance of the body to a specific food.

Is avoiding some allergic foods early in life a solution to avoid allergies later?

There is a belief that by avoiding high allergic foods like peanuts and fish early in life, people protect their babies from being allergic to these foods later. Other say the opposite. But whatever the reason, it’s important to know that your baby can develop new food allergies at any time, even as an adult.

Why do some allergists have their patients consume small amounts of foods that they are allergic to?

Some allergists experiment with a method called ‘oral desensitization’. They have their patients consume small amounts of food they are allergic to in order to build up tolerance. It is risky though and should be tried only under doctor’s supervision.

Is there any cure for allergies?

Researchers are currently working on developing a peanut-allergy vaccine. There is a possibility of success but we still have to wait for the vaccine to be available more likely in the next five years. For now, the best thing to do is to find out what your baby is allergic to and avoid it. And hope that there will be a cure one day.

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