People have special dance instructors for their children; they have special tutors even; what people don’t have for their children usually is a personal allergist. That’s what they have at the home of my daughter’s best friend. Mealtime over at their place is a special experience – their allergist reaolly went to town with child allergies – he had turned out of their home, most kinds of normal food they needed to live – eggs, rice, wheat, and too many others to list. At first I was flabbergasted at the kind of lives the children in that house had to live; it occurred to me one day that they were all going along with this ridiculous lifestyle a little too accommodatingly. I began to push the mother to try to question the doctor’s opinion a bit; to get a second opinion as it were. I sent her to Denver, to the national Jewish health Center.
It was just as well that I did; it turned out that while her children did have a genuine allergies to nuts and milk, they had allergies to nothing else. And to think that these children lived chiefly on potatoes and fruit ever since they turned two. No corn, no meat, no wheat. The children were practically malnourished. Here is the case of a failed policy on child allergies if ever there was one.
Doctors who so blithely declare a wheat allergy in children left and right, need to think about it. If you cut out wheat, you cut out everything; you’re practically condemning the child to lifelong malnutrition. There are so many families who are going through this to; their doctors quickly declare one food allergy or another; and concerned about all the horrible things they’ve heard about child allergies, the anxious parents put all their money into buying expensive specialty nonallergenic foods, and keeping their children from all kinds of regular stuff.
Actually, this kind of policy with child’s allergies is somewhat self-fulfilling. If you keep a child away from a certain food for a long time, the child’s’s body reacts by becoming sensitive to that food. When the child finally learns 10 or 20 years on, that there never was a problem and tries wheat or anything for the first time, his body does react with a certain amount of intolerance because it’s never seen wheat in years.
Doctors who deal with child allergies around the country have declared 3 million children as being allergic to one or another foodstuff so far – soy, nuts, milk. And these diagnoses are on the rise too. Not that the rise in these allergy findings are all wrong. It’s just that many of them are. And who’s to blame for it? It’s the test they use of course.
Children typically hate the skin test or the food challenge; and these new blood tests are easy on the children and hopelessly inaccurate. That’s what they said in the medical journal The Annals of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology.Apparently these tests are less than 50% accurate. That means that if you flipped a coin, you would do better on average. These tests are inaccurate because they have no way of distinguishing between substances that are similar, but not the same. For instance, a child who has a real milk allergy, could come out looking like he is allergic to all kinds of meat on the test. A child who has a problem with peanuts, could easily test positive to soy and beans.
Doctors were concerned with all these mistaken diagnoses are using food challenges on children now, and discovering that they were starving those children for years for no reason. And of course, child allergies are on the rise now because of what the doctors do too. Newfangled medical advice has been saying for a while that you’re not to give any baby peanuts and eggs until age 3. And that makes them allergic to it, since they haven’t had a taste of it.
If you are battling child allergies left and right, do yourself a favor. Retest your child with a food allergy challenge.