We asked and our customers responded! Tune in this week to learn about hidden food allergies and the toll they take on your health. Cyndi from Long Island is sharing her story with all of us this week. Will Cyndi's story resonate with you?
Fact: Researchers estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18. That's one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. About 40 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
What Is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response. The immune response, called an allergic reaction, occurs because the immune system attacks proteins in the food that are normally harmless. The proteins that trigger the reaction are called allergens.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range from mild (itchy mouth, a few hives) to severe (throat tightening, difficulty breathing).
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is sudden in onset and can cause death.
To Which Foods Are People Allergic?
More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions.
Eight major food allergens – milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish –
are responsible for most of the serious food allergy reactions in the United States.
Allergy to sesame is an emerging concern.
How Many People Have Food Allergies?
Researchers estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18. That’s one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.
About 40 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
Food Allergies Are on the Rise
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergy in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.
Between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergy appears to have more than tripled in U.S. children.
Food Allergy Reactions Are Serious and Can Be Life-Threatening.
Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to
Childhood hospitalizations for food allergy tripled between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s.
More than 40 percent of children with food allergies have experienced a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis.
Medical procedures to treat anaphylaxis resulting from food allergy increased by 380 percent between 2007 and 2016.
Serious Allergic Reactions Require Immediate Treatment
Once a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) starts, the drug epinephrine is the only effective treatment.
Epinephrine (also called adrenaline) should be injected within minutes of the onset of symptoms. More than one dose may be needed.
Easy-to-use, spring-loaded syringes of epinephrine, called epinephrine auto-injectors, are available by prescription.
Not treating anaphylaxis promptly with epinephrine increases the risk of a fatal reaction.
Food Allergy Impacts Quality of Life
Food allergy limits a major life activity and may qualify an individual for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Caring for children with food allergies costs U.S. families nearly $25 billion annually.
About one in three children with food allergy reports being bullied as a result.
Compared to children who do not have a medical condition, children with food allergy are twice as likely to be bullied.
Who Is at Greatest Risk?
Compared to children who don’t have food allergy, children with food allergy are two to four times as likely to have other a