"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

We are the 'Allergy Capital of the World'. But we don't know why food allergies are so common in Australian children.

Australia is also known as “The allergy capital of the world

An estimate One in ten Australian babies develop food allergies in the primary 12 months of their lives. Research has previously suggested that food allergies are more common in children. Australia From infants living in Europe, America or Asia.

So why are food allergies so common in Australia? We don't know exactly – but local researchers are making progress in understanding childhood allergies on a regular basis.

What causes food allergies?

There are many differing types of reactions to foods. When we consult with food allergies in this text, we're talking about something. IgE-mediated food allergy.. This sort of allergy is brought on by an immune response to a selected food.

The response may occur inside minutes of eating and should include swelling of the face, lips, or eyes, skin “hives” or wrinkling, and vomiting. Signs Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) include difficulty respiration, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the throat, wheezing or persistent coughing, difficulty speaking or hoarseness, and protracted dizziness or fainting.

Recent results from Australia's large, long-running Food Allergy Study, Health nutsshow that one in ten one-year-olds has a food allergy, while six in 100 have a food allergy. At the age of ten.

Food allergies may be accompanied by skin reactions.
Pleasant Images/Shutterstock

In Australia, commonest Allergy-causing foods Includes eggs, peanuts, cow's milk, shellfish (eg shrimp and lobster), fish, tree nuts (eg walnuts and cashews), soybeans and wheat.

Allergies to foods resembling eggs, peanuts and cow's milk often first appear in childhood, while allergies to fish and shellfish could also be more common. In later life. While most youngsters will outgrow allergies to eggs and milk, peanut allergies usually tend to be lifelong.

Results from Health nuts Three out of ten children outgrew their peanut allergy by age six, while nine out of ten had an egg allergy.

Are food allergies becoming more common?

Food allergies appear to have turn into more common in lots of countries all over the world. Recent decades. The exact timing of this increase is unclear, as food allergies weren't well measured in most countries 40 or 50 years ago.

We don't know exactly why food allergies are so common in Australia, or why we're seeing a rise worldwide despite extensive research.

But potential causes of increased allergies worldwide include changes. Maternal and infant nutrition And growing SanitizationLeads to fewer infections in addition to less exposure to “good” bacteria. In Australia, increasing aspects resembling Vitamin D deficiency in children And the country's high level of immigration may play a job.

In several Australian studies, children born in Australia have higher rates of oldsters who were born in Asia. Food allergies On the opposite hand, in comparison with non-Asian children, children who were born in Asia and later migrated to Australia seem like at lower risk. Nut allergy.

Meanwhile, studies show that being Pet dogs And Brother and sister The risk of food allergies could also be lower as a young child. This could also be because having a pet dog and siblings increases contact with bacteria and other organisms.

This evidence suggests that each genetics and environment play a job in the event of food allergies.

We also know that infants with eczema usually tend to have food allergies, and The test Continuing to see if this link may be broken.

Is there anything I can do to forestall food allergies in my children?

One of probably the most common questions we're asked by parents is “is there anything we can do to prevent food allergies?”.

Now we introduce peanuts and eggs. From about six months of age This reduces the prospect that the newborn will develop an allergy to those foods. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has introduced guidelines recommending the introduction of common allergenic foods, including peanuts and eggs, in the primary 12 months of life. In 2016.

Our research suggests this. The best pick up And it has slowed the rise in food allergies in Australia. There was no increase in peanut allergy amongst 2007-11 to 2018-19.

Introducing common allergy-causing foods in the primary 12 months of life will also be helpful, though Evidence Because it just isn't as strong as peanuts and eggs.

A boy's hand is holding some peanuts.
Introducing peanuts to children early can reduce the chance of peanut allergy.

What next?

Unfortunately, some infants will develop food allergies even when the relevant foods are introduced in the primary 12 months of life. Managing food allergies is usually a significant burden for youngsters and families.

Several Australian trials are currently testing latest strategies to forestall food allergy. A big trial, soon to be accomplished, is testing whether Vitamin D supplements Reduces the chance of food allergies in infants.

Another test is testing what number of eggs and peanuts the mother eats during this time. Pregnancy and breast-feeding This affects whether or not her child will develop a food allergy.

For most individuals with food allergies, avoiding their known allergens is the usual of care. Oral immunotherapy, which involves step by step increasing doses of food allergens administered under medical supervision, is being offered in some facilities around Australia. However, current oral immunotherapy methods have potential unintended effects (including allergic reactions), may involve an extended time commitment and price, and Do not treat food allergies..

There is hope on the horizon for brand spanking new treatments for food allergies. Multiple Clinical trials The drive to develop safer and more practical treatments for individuals with food allergies continues around Australia.