Food Allergies and Fatalities
Every year, millions of people worldwide are affected by allergies to particular foods. It is estimated that in America alone, over 11 million people suffer from potentially life threatening food allergies. It is estimated that over 200 people die each year from allergic reactions to food in the United States. Furthermore, there are approximately 30,000 emergency room visits each year that are attributed to food allergies. These numbers are astounding, to say the least.
There has been a lot of talk in the popular press as of late, regarding food allergies. In fact, the White House recently designated a National Anaphylaxis Day to raise public awareness about the dangers of certain types of food. Anaphylaxis is a term used to describe extreme allergic reactions that have the potential to cause death.
The most troubling element of food allergies is that they are next-to-impossible to diagnose. More often than not, an individual does not realize that they have a food allergy until they are having a reaction. At that time, it is too late to consider preventative measures. The scariest part is that there is literally no way to determine how serious the reaction might be, so the utmost care and consideration must be taken when dealing with an allergic reaction.
Some of the most common foods people are allergic to include nuts (peanuts, walnuts, etc.), shellfish (lobster, shrimp, crab, etc.), eggs, and dairy products (milk, cream, etc.). Now take a moment to consider how many prepared foods contain one or more of the above ingredients. For those suffering from intense food allergies, every meal is like playing a game of chance.
There are few ways to protect one self from having an allergic reaction. The best strategy is simply to be prepared for the worst. You certainly have to be aware of what you are eating, but also of the environment in which the food was prepared. In the case of an individual with peanut allergies, mere traces of the nut can cause like-threatening illness. If you are dining out, be sure to inform the restaurant of any allergies you suffer from. In the kitchen, extra care should always be taken to ensure cross-contamination is not taking place.
As mentioned above, there is no way to determine how severe an allergic reaction might be. The frontline tool for defense against allergic reactions to food is a compound known as epinephrine. Epinephrine is absolutely critical for managing allergic reactions, and could mean the difference between life and death. If you or somebody you know is suffering from food allergies, be sure to consult a physician regarding management strategies. Alternately, you can visit our site for more information.