In recent years, is observed an increase in the diagnosis of food allergies, from a total of 220 to 520 million people in the world, according to a report from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food causes a harmful immune response. The allergic reaction occurs because the immune system attacks proteins in foods that are normally harmless.
The proteins that trigger the reaction are called allergens. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can vary from mild (itching in the mouth) to serious (narrowing of the throat). In the latter case, Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs suddenly and can cause death.
More frequent in patients with allergy clinical manifestations are: urticaria, angioedema (swelling of soft tissues), Dyspnea (shortness of breath) and vomiting.
They grow figures recently reported an increase in the prevalence of food allergy in the world. Only in United States estimated that about 15 million people suffer from some type of food allergy. Of these, 5.9 million are children under 18 years of age.
It is estimated that you between 1 and 10% of the world population suffers from some sort of food allergy, with prevalence of 6-8% in children under 3 years and between 2-4% in the adult population.
It is reported that more than 170 foods cause allergic reactions. The most common allergens are: egg, milk cow, peanut, seafood, nuts, tomato, wheat, avocado, fish and vegetables. Eggs, cow’s milk and peanut allergies are more frequent in pediatric age in Chile, while in adults are shellfish.
Curiously, in addition, our country registers high rates of allergies to tomatoes and the avocado, which is rare in other countries.
According to Arturo Borzutzky, director of the laboratory of Immunology and allergy translational research of the school of medicine UC, a study led by its team in 2013 and applied to 488 fathers and mothers, showed that the prevalence of food allergy hypersensitivity immediate regional school in Metropolitan is close to 5.5%.
Another study conducted by researchers at the INTA indicated that in infants the incidence of cow’s milk protein allergy was 4.9%.
«In clinical consultation we have observed an increase sustained cases over the past years,» explains the also head of Immunology, Allergy and pediatric Rheumatology of the network of health UC Christus.
Treatments for Carla Leiva, Professor of nutrition and dietetics of the Catholic University, although there are specific tests to detect possible food allergies, most often is the reaction appears to consume certain foods for the first time.
«Once established the diagnosis of protein of any food allergy, treatment is removing the allergen diet and see the reaction of the organism», he says.
«The symptomatology is very diverse, depending on the patient. Then there is a group that has a group of gastrointestinal symptoms, stools with blood, gastroesophageal reflux, profuse vomiting. «The most serious group is the one who expressed respiratory distress, given that without timely assistance, can even die», adds the nutritionist.
Allergies to milk, egg, wheat and soy are often resolved in childhood, usually between the first year and five years. Allergies to peanuts, nuts, fish and shellfish usually last a lifetime.
In the case of oils, the allergy can be the Chía and canola oil.
«There is no cure for food allergy, handled avoiding problematic foods and learning how to recognize and treat the symptoms of reactions. Food allergy therapies are being studied in clinical trials, but none has been approved for general use,»says Leiva.
Timely and treatment in the hands of a multidisciplinary team with support from pediatrician, gastroenterologist and nutritionist, allows you to progressively increase the spectrum of food and thus guarantee a proper nutritional balance.
Cow’s milk protein: the most frequent one of allergies more common is to cow’s milk protein, being the diet of exclusion of milk and derivatives for the mother of the child diagnosed more appropriate treatment during breast-feeding.
This diet must be monitored and guided by a professional. Leiva holds that the foods that the mother must remove from your diet to continue breastfeeding are: dairy products or foods derived from milk, milk, lactose, whey, hydrolyzed lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactoglobulin, casein, Caseinate magnesium, potassium casein, casein sodium, calcium casein, sour cream, sweet cream, yogurt, cheese, cheese, butter, butter-fat, artificial flavor of butter, lard, cream, ice cream, pre and probiotics derived from milk (lactic Bacillus).
«Foods that can replace cow’s milk nutrients to the mother include supplements administered orally, as well as foods such as beef, chicken, fish and eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, cereals, seafood, nuts, carrot,» pepper, mango, mushrooms, spinach, soy, salmon, broccoli and avocado, to name a few», says.
«The milk contains not only protein, but is also a source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A, B2, B6, B12 and D», adds.
For allergic infant formulas are usually used with hydrolyzed proteins. Currently Minsal delivers free these formulas children serving in the public system and already extends to children serving in the private system.
This type of allergy is diagnosed during the first year of life; i.e. While it is fed.