Food Allergies by Scott H. Sicherer

Joseph Blackman
3 min readAug 10, 2020

Pg 1 A food allergy happens when the immune system attacks harmless proteins in foods

Pg 5 Seasonal oral allergy syndrome: The symptoms tend to increase during the relevant pollen season and fade or improve after. Therefore, when your eyes and nose are itchiest in the pollen season, you are more apt to have problem eating the related raw fruits or vegetables

Pg 12 Lactose intolerance is a difficulty in digesting the sugar, called lactose, in milk, because of a deficiency in an enzyme called lactase. Without sufficient lactase enzyme, the lactose passes along the intestine undigested and unabsorbed. Gut bacteria can get a hold of the lactose and ferment it, causing gas. The extra sugar in the intestine can draw fluids out of the body and into the gut, causing diarrhea

Pg 12 Asians have the highest rate of lactase deficiency, over 90%. Native Americans and blacks, over 70% deficiency. Caucasians have the lowest rate at 5 to 20%

Pg 44 Carmine is a food dye(red) that is derived from the dried body of a beetle, and it can also trigger allergic reactions

Pg 95 Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal. Symptoms occur beyond where the food has made contact, beyond the mouth and gut. Typically, several areas of the body are affected, for example, the skin and the gut, or the gut and breathing. When anaphylaxis leads to poor blood circulation that deprives the body of oxygen and nutrients, it is called shock

Pg 102 Many people erroneously think that injecting epinephrine is itself the reason to go to an emergency room, as if the epinephrine might cause a medical problem. This misconception can make a person reluctant to inject the epinephrine. The reason you should go to an emergency room after injecting epinephrine is that you experienced a serious allergic reaction that needs to be monitored in case symptoms worsen or reoccur

Pg 113 Antihistamines block the histamine that is released from allergy cells during an allergic reaction. Histamine is partly responsible for the itching, redness, and swelling during an allergic reaction. Many chemicals are released during anaphylaxis, however, and an antihistamine cannot treat anaphylaxis

Pg 157 Cross-contact, sometimes called cross-contamination, happens when an otherwise allergen-safe food contains an unintentional allergen because of an error during cooking or preparing the food

Pg 181 Do antibacterial gels and foams remove allergens from hands? No, just germs. To get allergens off dirty hands requires soap and water or wet wipes

Pg 231 Considering any allergic problem, there is roughly 15% risk if a child has just one sibling who has allergies, a 30% risk if one parent has allergies and a 50% risk if both parents have allergies. Specific allergic diseases run in families as well. There is a greater than 50% risk of asthma for a child if both parents have asthma

Pg 231 A personal history of any allergy increases an individuals risk for having additional allergies. The more allergic diseases, or the more severe the allergic disease, the more likely a food allergy will occur

Pg 23 “Hygiene Hypothesis” and “OldFriends Hypothesis”. Countries with lower rates of allergy have more crowding, more animal exposure, lower rates of antibiotic use, lower rates of Caesarean sections, and so on. People living in those conditions are exposed to more microbes ant are people living in less crowded conditions with less animal exposure, more antibiotic use, and higher rates of Caesarean sections

Pg 241 Experts generally agree that based on one very food study there is compelling evidence that feeding high-risk infants peanut early may reduce their risk of peanut allergy

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