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Food Allergies In Australia


#1

An article regarding food allergies in Australia and avoiding them.

Our grandson who turns 13 this year suffers from food allergies and has to carry an epipen with him whever he goes.

Perhaps if he had been introduced to egg and peanuts as an infant, the allergy might have been avoided or at least reduced.


#2

Interesting to note that, contrary to previous advice, introducing foods that cause allergies into an infant’s diet in the first year of life is believed to REDUCE allergies.


#3

Our paediatrician told us, to counter what he called old fashion myths, to introduce as many food groups and varieties as soon as our child was on solids…which was on 4 months of age.

This included everything. The only thing we were told to watch out for (note: not avoid) was cooked egg white (albumen) by itself such as in boiled or fried eggs as guts can have problems digesting it resulting in undesirable consequences (for both the baby and parents). Yolks were no issue though nor was adding eggs as ingredients to other foods.

The only food problem we had was beetroot, not an allergy but did find out by accident that higher than usual consumption can lead to unusual stool colours.

We were lucky, maybe because there were no restrictive diets through vagrancy or early childhood and there are no allergies. Our child also continues to have a very wide and variety diet, completely different to the meat and three veges I grew up on.


#4

Do not believe everything doctors are telling you. Their opinion is not “evidence based”. If it were so, they would not change it so frequently. Allergies are caused by a damaged liver. I am talking here from my own experience, not what I read in a who- knows- funded medical research.


#5

That is a very broad statement. Instead of throwing such generalisations out why not provide details of your own experience with cause-effect, as well as some examples of ‘who-knows-funded’ research that you disagree with and help by stating clearly what they got wrong, with your credible evidence.


#6

Yes, alcoholic liver disease has been shown scientifically to result in allergic skin reactions, but this is a result of alcohol and not liver disease.

Have a quick look at published research papers, I was unable to find any papers which linked allergies directly to a damaged liver (namely those who have damaged livers then have food allergies as a result). There are many papers which discuss the impact of various foods and pathogens on liver function/inflammation (such as toxins and viruses) on healthy and inflamed/damaged livers. Such is the reverse conclusion which you have outlined as the response. If you have any scientific evidence indicating that liver damage directly results in food allergies, it would be interesting to read if you could provide details of the research.

Also, if one has food allergy/intolerance and then finds they also have liver damage, it appears from the information available that it may be coincidental rather than a causal effect.

Yes, doctors opinions do change over time as more research which is peer reviewed, and its findings, become available to the medical profession. It is no different to food allergies outlined in the ABC article. In the recent past, there was conclusions that the mother or infant eating some foods may make the infant more susceptible to some food allergies. This information was provided to parents based on the best available information at that time.

As more research is conducted, different outcomes to food restraint were identified and why there has been recent change in information from the medical profession. The information they give today is based on the today’s best available information.

If doctor’s relied only on anecdotal evidence from what is reported by their patients, and used this anecdotal information to treat others, the medical procession would return to the days of quackery. We are fortunate the medical profession of today is based on proven science and best available scientific evidence, as many diseases of the past can be readily treated with modern medical treatments.


#7

We introduced all foods to our young’un as soon as possible. We tried to feed as wide a variety of foods as possible to him early on. Due to the lack of teeth, we broke nuts (including peanuts) up into small pieces which could easily be swallowed.

Either as a consequence or coincidence, he has NO allergies. Yay!


#8

As the Spanish proverb goes “A wise man changes his mind. A fool never will.” Consider smoking. Years ago it was considered as completely normal. Then as research proved over and over the detrimental effects of smoking not just on the smoker, but also those around them, the tide gradually shifted within the medical profession from once telling people to smoke to telling them not to smoke.

It would have been foolish for them not to amend their opinions in the face of evidence, even when they faced extreme pressure from tobacco companies and politicians. Hence it is always preferable to have doctors change their opinions based on the available evidence.


#9

I am no expert but I have a suspission that we are not being exposed enough to germs, because of disinfectants killing 99% of household germs, filtered water, antiseptic wipes and products like these. I believe our bodies need to be exposed to these germs to increase our own immune system to fight off infections. I think that allergies are a symptom of lack of exposure in our modern sterile world.


#10

There was an excellent 2 part documentary on SBS (still on SBS on Demand) about these issues. If it disappears from there the name is “Life on us” by Screen Australia Ltd. You will need to either sign up or sign in to SBS on Demand to watch it through that service. It may be available elsewhere.

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/234273859562/life-on-us

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/234273859563/life-on-us


#11

It’s Food Allergery Awareness Week, so we’ve taken a look at warning labels to decipher what they really mean:


#12

An article regarding a young person who died after eating a chicken burger in London

I believe that the coroner’s recommendation of having a mandatory distinctive mark beside all ingredients which contain allergens is a fantastic idea.

I just had a quick look in our fridge and pantry and I could not see any allergen advice on the milks or cheeses and the advice on products containing nuts was not very noticeable and did not have the word “allergen” near the advice.

Perhaps any products containing any allergens whatsover could also be required to have a red “A” or “X” on the front or top of the pack so as to help ensure that sufferers are alerted to read the allergen section in the fine print.

Perhaps this is something that Choice could campaign to have it legislated in Australia?

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#13

Then a huge number of foods would have such a mark and sufferers would be no better off. In most cases people only react to a small number of substances, or just one, although some unfortunates do have multiple allergies. So they would be reading the fine print to find out if their allergen was present anyway - which is what they ought to do without the “A”.

It makes more sense to ensure that food is accurately and comprehensively labelled and that sufferers are educated and trained to be aware of what they are eating from an early age. Sufferers need also to habitually ask at restaurants and other situations where labelling on the product is impractical (eg home cooking) and to get accurate answers about the content of what they are offered. As I read the article the victim didn’t ask but assumed what was in the dish.

A facile change to legislation isn’t the answer to every problem.


#14

Possibly every food it is possible that someone somewhere has a reaction to some part of the food (whether fresh or processed). In such case, marking all potential allergens would be come farcical.

If someone has a allergy, it is hoped that they are aware of the risks of eating unmarked or unlabeled foods (such as in food outlets, restaurants, etc). If they are unsure, then possibly they shouldn’t consume the product.