Observing Food Allergy Awareness Week
Food allergies affect nearly 32 million people in this country, including children. Food allergies are a serious affliction and can even be life-threatening. In fact, according to the Food Allergy Research and Education website, every 3 minutes in this country, someone is sent to the emergency room because of a serious food allergy.
What Causes a Food Allergy?
Your immune system is constantly scanning your body to find and destroy any pathogens (germs, viruses, parasites, precancerous cells) that could make you sick. In those people with a food allergy, their immune system goes into overdrive and overreacts to harmless food proteins.
Scientists in the United States have identified eight of the most common foods the population is allergic to. These foods include fish, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat.
Who is at Risk for Developing a Food Allergy?
Those people with a family history of food allergies are at the highest risk. Other autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions, such as arthritis and eczema, may also be an indicator.
It is important to mention that food allergies are NOT the same thing as food intolerances. If you are unsure of whether you have an allergy or intolerance or sensitivity, it is best to have a proper evaluation by an allergist.
How to Celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week
Food Allergy Awareness Week happens from May 8th through May 14th. During this week, we can all do our part to raise awareness of the dangers of food allergies.
There are different ways people in the community can participate. You can download and print flyers and posters that can bring awareness to your neighbors. You may want to change your profile picture on your social media pages, send a press release to your local paper, or post your personal story on your blog.
The more of us that celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week, the more others will learn about the reality and dangers of this condition.