When I was a kid, I never heard of anyone who was lactose intolerant, had a nut allergy or any kind of food allergy that I can think of.
Ever since returning home from 2 years in Brazil, I have been severely lactose intolerant. Just a couple months ago, a friend of mine had a severe allergic reaction to almond flour used to make some macaroons at a wedding reception. Luckily, a neighbor close by had an epi-pen and we were able to bring him back from a severely scary reaction!
Approximately 32 million Americans have food allergies. Thats 10 percent of the population. That is 10 times the amount of allergies reported 35 years ago!
And the severity is increasing as well. In the last 10 years alone, the report of anaphylactic food reactions has risen 377 percent in the US.
The most dramatic increases in allergies are found in our children. Emergency room visits for anaphylaxis in children have more than double in the last 6 years.
Nobody is exactly sure what is causing so many new cases of allergies. About 90 percent of food allergies in the US come from eight foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
Food allergies happen when the immune system mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat. Then our bodies release a number of chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. These reactions can be anything from stomach aches to anaphylactic shock which can result in death.
It’s also interesting that all allergies are on the rise. Everything from seasonal allergies, skin allergies and respiratory issues, but none are on the rise as quickly as food allergies, and they aren’t nearly as dangerous, with the risk of anaphylaxis.
Some interesting findings are that children from larger families have fewer cases of hay fever. Most experts think this is due to their immune systems being strengthened by an exposure to more germs from their siblings. This hypothesis has been strengthened by noting higher rates of allergy and autoimmune disorders in children that live in cities compared to rural areas, people from industrialized countries over developing ones and lab animals raised in sterile conditions compared to ones exposed to germs.
Many experts think that having to fight a numerous amount of allergens trains and strengthens the immune system. Cathryn R. Nagler, a professor and food allergy researcher at the University of Chicago says,”In an era of increasing urbanization, shrinking family sizes, and more sheltered lifestyles, such conditioning may be harder to come by. ‘When we were kids, we played in the dirt. Today, children tend to be on their screens, inside sealed buildings.'”
Other Factors suggested:
-More time indoors, which leads to less sun exposure and a vitamin D deficiency.
-Popularity of processed foods
-Rising rates of obesity
-Increased exposure to antibiotics
-Increase in cesarean births
Here are a few suggestions from the experts to help our kids:
-Start exposing babies to more varieties of foods at a younger age
-Increasing consumption of fiber
-Reducing use of antimicrobial agents, from antibacterial cleaners to antibiotics
-Breastfeed babies as much as possible
Scientists are working hard to try to find effective treatments to combat this dramatic increase in allergies, however, there is nothing that is coming close to reversing the trend. It seems to me that in all our efforts to protect ourselves and our families from every bit of dirt or bacteria, we might actually be making ourselves weaker and subject to many more allergies and other inconvenient complications.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What have you seen that has helped and what do you think are the reasons for this dramatic increase in allergies in the last few decades?
In the meantime, stay healthy, work hard, have fun and drink your Nanohydr8 to have the best workouts possible!
Founder/ CEO Nanohydr8
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