That Little NY Times Article . . .
The topic of food allergies has been in the news recently. This quote is from a recent article from The New York Times, “Doctors say that misdiagnosed food allergies appear to be on the rise, and countless families are needlessly avoiding certain foods and spending hundreds of dollars on costly non-allergenic supplements. In extreme cases, misdiagnosed allergies have put children at risk for malnutrition.” That being said I still think one should still be really cautious about any allergy causing anaphylaxis.
While having food allergies is challenging for me, it has to be doubly difficult for the moms of kids with food allergies who have to prepare those costly allergy free meals throughout the day. But I still think good nutrition can be experienced even if you have multiple allergies. Actually many food allergy sufferers have better diets than their non-allergy contemporaries. We don’t eat at Potbelly’s everyday like many Americans do. If I didn’t have food allergies I would never have experienced the joy of eating foods from other cultures. Many other countries do not overdo wheat or dairy but find nourishment from root vegetables, seaweeds, nut milks, fermented foods, chickpea flours and gluten free grains like teff or millet.
Also from The New York Times, “While the increase appears to be real, so does the increase in misdiagnosis. Blood tests may be unreliable because they fail to distinguish between similar proteins in different foods. A child who is allergic to peanuts, for instance, might test positive for allergies to soy, green beans, peas and kidney beans. Children with milk allergies may test positive for beef allergy.”
Out of all the methods of allergy testing I have put my body through, I have found my Naturopath’s blood tests have been the most true. When I was tested last fall I knew dairy and wheat would still be an issue, but I was surprised to learn I was also allergic to oysters, soy, eggs and kidney beans. Sometimes we don’t realize a food makes us feel sick, we think it might just be something else. Often times caffeinated beverages can hide the effects of a food allergy. You might be buzzed from drinking coffee when eating that omelet at brunch and not realize the true affects of an allergy to eggs.
I agree with The New York Times that allergies can change so I usually have a blood test every couple of years. While this may seem like a huge pain and expense, I think that those of us with food allergies may have the upper hand. There are millions of people that don’t know why they are chronically sick and probably have food allergies. While having food allergies can be a pain, undiagnosed allergies can cause more severe illness down the road.