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Debunking 7 Myths about Food Allergies

by Sarah Syakira
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We’re living in an age of dietary restrictions. Though no one is entirely certain why, the rates of food allergies seem to be on the rise and they’re becoming increasingly common. However, there are still a lot of misleading information out there about food allergies, and some of them are potentially dangerous.

To reduce the chances of life-threatening scenarios, it’s best to gain good insight on food allergies and how you can respond to them. Signing up for a first aid course in Brisbane can give you the right knowledge and skills needed to offer help in case someone near you has an allergic reaction.

Whether or not you have food allergies, or have a loved one who does, distinguishing the facts from the myths is crucial to living a long and healthy life. In this post, we’re sharing with you the common myths that are related to allergies that everyone should stop believing:

Myth No. 1: Once you develop an allergy, you have it forever.

Fact: Food allergies can develop at any time of your life. However, the earlier you had your first reaction, the more likely you’re going to grow out of it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck with your allergy for life. In fact, most children will grow out of allergies to milk, eggs, wheat, and soy by age 5. Unfortunately, allergies to peanuts, fish, seafood, or tree nuts are rarely lost.

Myth No. 2: Food allergies are rare and aren’t serious.

Fact: In Australia, food allergies are estimated to affect 1-2% of adults and 4-8% of children under 5 years of age, according to a report from 2010. Some of the symptoms of food allergies are vomiting, stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, hives, and even loss of consciousness. In some cases, food allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.

Myth No. 3: Food “Allergies”, “intolerances”, and “sensitivities” are interchangeable.

Fact: Food sensitivities and intolerances are often confused with food allergies because they share some similar symptoms. Still, they are not the same thing. While food allergy is a response directly from the immune system, food intolerance and sensitivity indicate that you have trouble digesting some ingredients, and eating them may make you feel sick.

Myth No. 4: If you suspect you are allergic to something, you should remove it entirely from your diet.

Fact: Only a qualified medical specialist can properly diagnose food allergies. Getting correct information is critical as your precise diagnosis may require a unique treatment option. Diagnosing food allergies on your own and excluding some food from your diet might be dangerous. You might end up creating nutritional gaps and put your diet out of balance.

Myth No. 5: Food allergies are only a problem when eating.

Fact: Unfortunately, some beauty products and topical treatments can contain nut oils or extracts of fruit or vegetables which can also cause an allergic reaction. If you have a food allergy, you should also always inspect the ingredient list of any product coming in contact with your body.

Myth No. 6: Food allergies are inherent.

Fact: If your parents have food allergies, that does make you more likely to develop food allergies. However, it’s important to note that you do not inherit specific allergies. You only inherit the likelihood of having allergies, in general.

Myth No. 7: Peanut allergy is the only ‘dangerous’ food allergy.

Fact: Any food can cause a serious reaction which can be fatal, and any food allergy should be treated seriously. Peanuts are among the eight most common foods that can cause serious allergic reactions. The other seven foods that can be fatal are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. That said, other types of food can cause serious allergic reactions too, and all food allergies pose an equal threat to the people who have them.

Separate the truth from fiction.

If you or some of your loved ones have a food allergy, something simple like eating in a restaurant can be a challenge. However, it’s possible to have a healthy and satisfying dining-out experience; it just takes some preparation and dedication to learn how to separate myths from facts.

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