2 of 4
2
Gluten-free diets
Posted: 02 May 2013 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2188
Joined  2007-04-26
Thevillageatheist - 02 May 2013 06:13 AM

This is a bit off topic but allergies are being discussed here. Over the past ten years there has been an increase of kids with peanut allergies and as a result a there has been a frantic movement to eliminate all forms of peanut products from school systems, at least in our area.  Signs are appearing that declare a school to be “peanut free”. This has risen to the point of fanaticism and parents are fanning the flames. They don’t even want peanut dust near their children. Is this a real problem? I’ve not done the research on the topic, just thought I’d throw it out for you guys in the medical field.

Cap’t Jack

It certainly is a real problem. I had a young patient who died a few years ago at home from very minimal exposure to peanut products. While such tragic outcomes are very rare, even a single death of an otherwise healthy young person strikes fear in parent of other children, most of whom have much less serious allergies and even among parents of children who have no allergy at all.

I think what you are seeing is a product of the modern media age with the 24 hour news cycle and the internet. Many things which are rare but potentially dangerous are publicized to such a degree that the public at large becomes overly fearful. Its hard to fault parents too much on this one though because it is sometimes difficult to predict when someone will have a fatal anaphylactic reaction. Even someone with a previously mild allergic response can become hyper-sensitized so that their next exposure may be far more severe.

I’m not sure what the answer is though. While peanut allergies are more common than some others they are not the only food product capable of producing a fatal allergic reaction. We could end up having to ban many other foods and substances from school if we are going to try and provide an environment that is 100% safe. At what point do prudent measures become complete hysteria?

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 May 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3156
Joined  2011-08-15

I think what you are seeing is a product of the modern media age with the 24 hour news cycle and the internet. Many things which are rare but potentially dangerous are publicized to such a degree that the public at large becomes overly fearful. Its hard to fault parents too much on this one though because it is sometimes difficult to predict when someone will have a fatal anaphylactic reaction. Even someone with a previously mild allergic response can become hyper-sensitized so that their next exposure may be far more severe.

I’m not sure what the answer is though. While peanut allergies are more common than some others they are not the only food product capable of producing a fatal allergic reaction. We could end up having to ban many other foods and substances from school if we are going to try and provide an environment that is 100% safe. At what point do prudent measures become complete hysteria?

I’m sorry to hear about your patient Mac and I agree that any child’s death is tragic. And while I know of various conditions that cause anaphylactic shock, the peanut allergy seems to be new but you’re probably right about the media, e.g. Autism. It swept through here with such media blitz that there are still parents who refuse to have their children innlculated for fear of “causing” their child to become autistic. The peanut scare even effects bakeries who now offer peanut free baked goods. Unfortunately hysteric parents don’t even trust their pediatricians when they try to calm them. There’s even a ground nut to tree nut argument concerning which one is safe. Fear turns off reason. Thanks for the info.


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 May 2013 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
macgyver - 02 May 2013 08:51 AM

While peanut allergies are more common than some others they are not the only food product capable of producing a fatal allergic reaction. We could end up having to ban many other foods and substances from school if we are going to try and provide an environment that is 100% safe. At what point do prudent measures become complete hysteria?

My son’s nut allergy is so severe, even having it present in a room he walks into makes him wheeze. I have a nut allergy as well, but not as severe…yet. But neither of us are allergic to peanuts. I have other allergies capable of killing me…quickly. I always taught my children that they were responsible for their lives. They cannot trust people to remember their allergy and keep them safe. After a near miss (with death) in jr high, my son has had no further reactions. It is unrealistic to expect the schools and the world around me to accommodate my allergies, even though some are quite severe. It also irritates me that many people do not understand what an allergy is. They either think ‘a little bit’ of the offending substance is ok, or I run into people who believe they are allergic to things they are clearly not (‘magnetic fields’ for instance, but food allergies are another). THAT is what makes MY life more difficult. Even a lot of the doctors I work with do not understand allergies. I had a patient allergic to heparin. The doctor came up with the brilliant idea of reducing the amount. I was off for several days, and came back to find him having an acute allergic reaction, and no one had been able to figure out the problem. They had discounted the heparin, because “there was very little in the bag”. Of course as soon as I made them stop the heparin he began to improve.

Even if we were to eliminate all foods from the schools, there are still allergies to things like nickel, dust, cat dander brought in on someone’s clothing, perfumes or other scents, grass, flowers, trees…..etc.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2013 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3156
Joined  2011-08-15

To be honest, I think that most of us have allergies. Mine is pet dander (was tested and took shots for a while then the pets died later). My wife has a severe allergy to penicillin and wears a bracelet in case of an emergency. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention to the peanut allergy until now what with the warning signs posted all over schools and the cafeteria food proclaimed to be peanut oil free. But it seems to be on the rise.

Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2013 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
Thevillageatheist - 03 May 2013 07:00 AM

To be honest, I think that most of us have allergies. Mine is pet dander (was tested and took shots for a while then the pets died later). My wife has a severe allergy to penicillin and wears a bracelet in case of an emergency. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention to the peanut allergy until now what with the warning signs posted all over schools and the cafeteria food proclaimed to be peanut oil free. But it seems to be on the rise.

Cap’t Jack

This is what WebMd had to say about allergies:

Number of people in the U.S. who have either allergy or asthma symptoms: one in five.
Percentage of the U.S. population that tests positive to one or more allergens: 55%.
Rank of allergies among other leading chronic diseases in the U.S.: 5th.
Odds that a child with one allergic parent will develop allergies: 33%.
Odds that a child with two allergic parents will develop allergies: 70%.
Number of ER visits in the U.S. caused by food allergies each year: 30,000.
Percentage of the people in the U.S. who believe they have a food allergy: up to 15%.
——>Percentage of the people in the U.S. who actually have a food allergy: 3% to 4%.

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-statistics
I’ve run into many people who think they are allergic to foods, but when I talk to them about it, it is usually NOT an allergy. Most of my allergies are to foods. Tested and verified… :(

[ Edited: 03 May 2013 07:34 PM by asanta ]
 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2013 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27

I don’t really know where i should stand on peanut allergies.  Everyone seems to have them these days. I’m sure some people really have them and that is a real problem for them.  But when I was a kid, though I lived in a fairly populous place, I never heard of anyone claiming to have a peanut allergy and I never heard of anyone dying from an allergy.  That’s not to say they don’t exist and that peope don’t die from them, only that I managed to get through my entire life without knowing anyone with these problems. Of course, I do know people with allergies.  My father got a bad case of hayfever every year.  He alao couldn’t drink cow’s milk, which he called an allergy, from which he would develop a rash and a digestive reaction.  But he didn’t die from his allergies.

I admit if I had a child with a peanut allergy (or another life threatening allergy)  I would be extremely careful, too, especially if my child had such a severe allergy as Asanta’s son has. It’s just that I tend to be very skeptical when a good percentage of the population suddenly develops a life-threatening allergy.


Lois

[ Edited: 03 May 2013 09:39 PM by Lois ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2013 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
Lois - 03 May 2013 09:37 PM

I admit if I had a child with a peanut allergy (or another life threatening allergy)  I would be extremely careful, too, especially if my child had such a severe allergy as Asanta’s son has. It’s just that I tend to be very skeptical when a good percentage of the population suddenly develops a life-threatening allergy.
Lois

While allergies are common, life-threatening allergies are not as common. I have a friend whose mother died at a football game after consuming a product that didn’t have peanut listed on the label.  The death can happen quite quickly….within minutes actually. Of the most serious allergies, peanuts and bees are the most common. There may be more now, but part of it is that people are more vocal about it. Like I said, I taught my son to be responsible for his own life.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 May 2013 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3156
Joined  2011-08-15

While allergies are common, life-threatening allergies are not as common. I have a friend whose mother died at a football game after consuming a product that didn’t have peanut listed on the label.  The death can happen quite quickly….within minutes actually. Of the most serious allergies, peanuts and bees are the most common. There may be more now, but part of it is that people are more vocal about it. Like I said, I taught my son to be responsible for his own life.

THat’s the second death by peanuts mentioned on this site alone! Like Lois, I just recently became aware of this as no one in both of our families has an allergy to nuts and with rare exception any acquaintances. As a Matter of fact I know of 2 kids who attend school with my grandaughter who have an allergy to peanuts so the home room mothers have to be extra careful to exclude any form of peanuts including the oil. My daughter and her husband run a cake baking business on the side and they’ve received a few orders for peanut free baked goods. Our son has a severe case of hay fever that even causes his eyes to swell at times. The doctor proscribes an antihistamine and it usually works but he’s the only one in the family with it. Mine is poison ivy! I read the site you posted and it looks like things might get worse for those of us with ragweed allergies as their growth is tied to AGW. Yet another reason to back off carbon based fuel and clean up the environment.

Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 May 2013 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11

Poison oak/ivy is the one thing no one in my immediate family has a problem with. Me and my children are all immune. People with severe allergies tend to be immune to poison oak/ivy. I read the reason years ago, but don’t remember. My son walks through the fields without any attempt to every appear to avoid. I avoid it because I don’t want to accidentally give it to someone else…..and as I have told my children, continuing immunity is not guaranteed! He used to be a camp counselor. On the first day of each session, he would pick a leaf and ask them to identify it and ask why he was holding it. There were usually one or two who could identify it. The camp area was full of it and he wanted to make sure they avoided it.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2013 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2188
Joined  2007-04-26

[img]POison Ivy is a fun topic. Like you I do not react to its oils either but my kids and wife do. When we first moved into our house I was clearing some brush with the kids. We had some dead trees that were still standing with these 3 inch thick vines on them. I cut up the trees with the vines and the kids helped me pile them up. I had no idea poison ivy grew in vines that thick until a day later when my kids developed the rash. It had been a hot sunny day and my wife was wearing a halter top. At some point I put my hand on her shoulder i guess because at the same time the kids got a rash she developed a nice hand shaped rash on her shoulder. I was not allergic to the oil so even though I was the one who created the problem I was the only one who was spared.

There are a lot of misconceptions about poison ivy though. First of all poison ivy is not a poison at all. The poison ivy plant and a few others produce urushiol oil which is a highly immunogenic substance. The oil penetrates the skin and triggers the allergic response which you see as a blistery rash on the skin. Washing the skin will remove oil that is still on the surface but it will do nothing to remove the oil which has already penetrated. Its important to remove the oil on the skin though because this can be transferred to other people or surfaces as in my case above.

Its important to understand that this is an allergy on not something contagious. Many people think that if you scratch poison ivy you can spread it. This is not true unless you have not washed since your exposure. The fluid in the blisters is your own body fluid and will NOT spread the rash.  People often get confused about this because the rash will develop on different areas around the body over time but its not because you are spreading it. Its because some areas experienced lower levels of exposure and took longer to erupt. It is also not possible to spread it to others after you have washed for the very same reason. It is however possible for others to get the rash from your clothing if it hasnt been washed and there are reports of people developing a rash on clothes that were exposed ten years prior which had not been washed.

poison-ivy-oak-sumac-1.jpg

[ Edited: 05 May 2013 04:15 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2013 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11

Yes, and you should wash it off with COLD water. Warm water allows it to be absorbed into the skin better. I avoid it for just the reasons you state above. I don’t want to pass it on to others…..that was a difficult message to get my children to understand.

In HS I had a teacher who burned it, and ended up in the hospital. NEVER EVER burn poison ivy/oak. If someone vulnerable to it breathes the smoke, it will cause the same reaction in the lungs.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2013 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4080
Joined  2006-11-28

I too have often wondered whether severe food allergies are more common or simply more feared than when I was a child. I did know one person allergic to peanuts when I was younger, to the point of having to be hospitalized after she had kissed her boyfriend who had eaten peanut butter earlier in the day. But it does strike me as a bit irrational when our school forbids any foods with nuts, gluten, or Red Dye #3 at all school events. Its’ tough to accurately evaluate changes in the prevalence of such things since the degree of knowledge/anxiety about them tends to impact how diligently we look for and how often we diagnose and report them.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2013 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
mckenzievmd - 07 May 2013 05:59 PM

I too have often wondered whether severe food allergies are more common or simply more feared than when I was a child. I did know one person allergic to peanuts when I was younger, to the point of having to be hospitalized after she had kissed her boyfriend who had eaten peanut butter earlier in the day. But it does strike me as a bit irrational when our school forbids any foods with nuts, gluten, or Red Dye #3 at all school events. Its’ tough to accurately evaluate changes in the prevalence of such things since the degree of knowledge/anxiety about them tends to impact how diligently we look for and how often we diagnose and report them.

Just wait. They’ll start banning GMO foods out of misguided paranoia.
What people don’t understand about allergies, is that you can be allergic to anything. I knew a girl who was allergic to cold. She would develop wheals by running cold water on her hands. A trip to the snow was out of the question..  confused
Most people with allergies do what my son and I do, exercise due diligence and carry an epi-pen. The only time I stepped in, was when he was very young and couldn’t protect himself. They took a survey of the school, and he was the only one with a severe allergy. The school had cupcake days on Wed. Classes would take turns providing cupcakes for the school, with the parents baking/buying them. At the start of the school and each week they would send out a note asking that there be no nuts put into the cupcakes, and everyone complied, but they did not ban nuts from the school. I told my son not to share food and the teachers made sure it was enforced until he was old enough to protect himself. Even then, he almost died when a substitute teacher brought in a treat for the class. If it had not been for a classmate alerting him, he would have died. As it was, he came very close.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2013 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3156
Joined  2011-08-15

Just wait. They’ll start banning GMO foods out of misguided paranoia.

I know that this is a bit off topic but your mention of it Asanta sparked a memory of a recent argument me and the Missus had about GMOs. She had heard a news commentator discuss the recent scare concerning an experiment with rats and how tumors were forming on them due to ingesting the altered food. Apparently this misinformation is coming from liberal watchdog groups. Man, was I naive; I thought that liberals were skeptics, guess not. They can be just as emotion driven as the righties. The whole scare seems to have begun by a French scientist, Giles Seralin who conducted the study, published a peer reviewed paper, and has been fighting the concept of GMOs since the 90’s. The positive thing is now the media knows that it’s being played and will hopefully back off this pseudoscience. in the meantime it has entered the mainstream as an urban myth and spread all over the Internet. What people don’t realize is that we have been doing this for thousands of years!


http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/are_gmo_foods_safe_opponents_are_skewing_the_science_to_scare_people_.html


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2013 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
Thevillageatheist - 08 May 2013 05:46 AM

What people don’t realize is that we have been doing this for thousands of years!

I was told they do realize it. But supposedly the old way was the natural way.

This whole natural thing is actually getting out of hand, IMO. They just reorganized our local grocery store with one third selling only natural products. In the middle they have a counter with en expert, a nutritionist. I wanna move to Vulcan.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 4
2