Episode Information

Food Allergies
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/15/2008
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For the parent of a child with severe food allergies, the world can be a dangerous place

 

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51:57 minutes (24.94 MB)
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Pediatrician Dr. James Rosen: Photo by Derek LartaudPediatrician Dr. James Rosen: Photo by Derek LartaudSome 12 million people suffer from food allergies. They face the possiblility of a reaction to common food items like peanuts, eggs, or fish. This is true of those foods not just in their raw form but also as additives or components to nearly every processed snack found in school lunch boxes around America.

So, with these dangers everywhere, how do childrens with food allergies cope? And how should parents and schools react? Is it going too far to create "peanut free zones?" And, does it seem like these allergies are more common than ever before?

Winnie Schauer: Photo by Derek LartaudWinnie Schauer: Photo by Derek Lartaud Today, a conversation about food allergies with Pediatrician Dr. James Rosen. We'll answer your questions and meet a seventh grader whose life is affected by allergies.

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When I was a child and young adult I was mildly allergic to crabs, lobsters and crawfish. It presented with a scratchy throat and a mild constriction of the airways. I ate them anyway along with an over-the-counter allergy tablet and was fine. When I reached menopause my allergy to shellfish seemed to go away. The only reaction was recently. While cracking crabs and my hands turned red. Nothing happens when I eat them.

However menopause seemed to bring along with it a terrible allergy to mangoes. I grew up in Hawaii and ate mangoes anytime I could get my hands on them. Now when I eat mangoes under my eyes turns a dark purple while my eyelids turn bright orange. My breathing is constricted considerably and I have had to be treated with injections of epinephrine and a medication that I had to inhale at the ER. Not believing that it was the mango, I’ve tried it accidentally and purposefully since the first incident and had the same reaction.

Recently a dietician told me that I have antibodies to gluten in my saliva. She suggested I stop eating wheat, barley, rolled oats and rye. Does this mean I have an allergy? How would this allergy manifest?

Thanks,
Stephanie Fielding
Uncasville, CT