A new UK report revealed that parent worries about allergies are preventing them from giving proper nutrition to their children.
Sense about Science, a website that deals with debunking health myths among others, has just released a report called Making Sense with Allergies. While the report doesn't undermine the fact that the rate of hospital admissions due to allergies have grown over the years, the misleading information about them is also forcing parents to remove certain food groups from their children's regular meals.
The problem, moreover, has become significant that out of 40% who say their children are allergic to something such as food, no more than 8% of them have been diagnosed with real allergies.
There are a couple of reasons why this phenomenon is happening. One, due to the myriad of data about allergies from various websites and "gurus," many parents are now getting confused between actual allergies and intolerances.
Moreover, several are now practicing self-diagnosis, relying on the Internet or allergy tests to tell them if what their children are experiencing is an allergic reaction or not. According to Sense about Science, there's no definite test to diagnose and pinpoint the actual cause of an allergy.
The fear has also caused more than 600% increase of hospital admissions for cases they considered as anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction characterized by the appearance of many rashes and difficulty in breathing as the air passage starts to collapse. This is already considered as an emergency, and a lack of prompt attention can lead to the death of the patient.
However, due to the wrong idea of allergies and anaphylaxis, and the overreaction, many restaurants are beginning to take these matters less seriously. It also doesn't help that doctors have used allergies as an excuse for conditions that are hard to explain.
Although they are aware that allergies should be taken seriously, there should also be focus on overdiagnosis and unfounded fears.