When something you ate made you feel ill or the body has a strange reaction, you think maybe you’re allergic to something or that food has gone bad. Usually, most of the people think they’re allergic to that type of food, and according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, almost one in five adults in the US believe they are allergic, when only in 10 really has an allergy.
The only way to find out if you are indeed allergic to a certain kind of food, is by taking a test and getting counsel to make sure “food is not unnecessarily avoided, and quality of life is not unduly impaired,” wrote the study’s authors.
Data of more than 40,000 Americans was reviewed by researchers from Northwestern University and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. They discovered that almost 50% of the people that were allergic to certain foods had at least a severe reaction during their life, and 45% of them had allergies to multiple foods. Some of the participants believed they had an allergy but did not have a consistent symptom with that allergy, explained one of the leaders of the study, Dr. Ruchi Gupta (professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine):
“While we found that one in 10 adults have food allergy, nearly twice as many adults think that they are allergic to foods, while their symptoms may suggest food intolerance or other food-related conditions.”
Go to a Physician to Get a Diagnosis and Counseling, Study Suggests
Most of the common allergies were to fin fish, milk peanut, shellfish, and tree nut.
However, among the participants, only about half of them were diagnosed by a physician, and less than a quarter had a prescription to get an EpiPen.
According to Food Allergy Canada, about 2.6 million Canadians report having at least one kind of food allergy, with the most common being to egg, milk, mustard, peanut, seafood, sesame, and wheat.
The study concludes that adults should visit a physician and receive a diagnosis and counseling for the allergy so that they get a proper diet.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.