As if being a woman wasn’t hard enough.
According to a new study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, women are more likely to have food allergies than men.
The piece speculates this is because allergies as a whole are more common in women, but also acknowledges the results could be credited to women reporting their allergies more often. The research also noted peanuts were the exception — men were more often allergic to them than women.
The study also stated people of Asian backgrounds are more likely to have food allergies compared to their counterparts in other races, and this could be due to differences in food preparation.
“The higher prevalence documented among Asians was similar to that in previous studies in Western nations, but higher than that reported among Asian nations and Asian-born immigrants," the study said.
"This inconsistency may be partially attributable to the different preparation of peanuts; in Asian countries peanuts are primarily boiled whereas in Western countries they are roasted, a preparation that increases the allergenicity of the peanut."
"In Asian countries peanuts are primarily boiled whereas in Western countries they are roasted, a preparation that increases the allergenicity of the peanut."
Researchers examined the medical data of 2.7 million patients in the Boston area between 2000 and 2013 to come to the conclusions and determined overall that 3.6 per cent of Americans have physician-reported food allergies, which is less than what scientists had previously believed. Past rates had been reported from anywhere between five and eight per cent.
It’s hard to accurately gauge allergy rates because many people do not report mild to moderate reactions to their physicians.
In Canada, for example, the latest Health Canada statistics state seven per cent of Canadians self-report having a food allergy while physician-diagnosed allergy rates are more likely to be around 3 to 4 per cent in adults and 5 to 6 per cent in children.
According to the May 31 report, the most common symptoms associated with food allergies are hives, rashes, coughing, and vomiting, and almost half of the allergy sufferers in the study experienced some form of the less severe reactions. Only 16 per cent of allergy patients had anaphylactic reactions — the serious kind that results in the throat closing up quickly, making it hard to breathe.
The most common allergen was shellfish. Other common allergy foods are fruits and vegetables, dairy, and peanuts.
Interestingly, the most common allergen was shellfish. Other common allergy foods are fruits and vegetables, dairy, and peanuts.
One big thing the study noted was the lack of allergists in the United States. Despite how common food allergies are, there are less than 7,000 allergists in the country, and patients who test positive for allergies aren’t getting the follow-up tests needed.
If you’re an allergy sufferer though, don’t fret. Doctors are experimenting with some scary-cool techniques to cure people of their allergies, including attempting to desensitize people over time by exposing them to their allergens in controlled quantities to hopefully build up the body’s immunity, according to HelloGiggles.
A Canadian doctor is even working on a type of cell that, when implanted into the body, reverses the signals that trigger the immune system during a reaction.
It’s about time.
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