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Aibu To not really understand why so many children have food allergies?

(227 Posts)
daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 10:32:25

Babies are weaned later ......? I didn't know anyone allergic to nuts or milk when I was at school, can someone explain it?

AitchTwoOh Wed 29-Jul-09 10:33:45

could be environmental, dp. and babies aren't really weaned later, that's a myth. the WHO would like babies to be weaned later but most don't comply. did you?

Morloth Wed 29-Jul-09 10:38:16

I think it is probably a bit environmental, things are possibly just a bit too clean now so your immune system goes looking for trouble.

I also think babies with allergies are less likely to die while they ARE babies. So we have more kids with allergies because they simply wouldn't have survived to BE kids 30 years ago.

Rollergirl1 Wed 29-Jul-09 10:38:40

I did. My DD wasn't weaned until 6 months (but she was premature so she wouldn't have been ready before) and DD was about 2 weeks before. My Mum weaned me and my brother at 4 months.

I've always wondered whether the exhaustive list of things we are not to eat while pregnant may also have something to do with it. You weren't meant to eat nuts for a while because they thought it resulted in nut allergies and now aren't they saying the exact opposite?

famishedass Wed 29-Jul-09 10:38:49

better diagnosis today. Is there a connection between weaning and allergies then? I didn't know that.

daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 10:40:18

Started on solids at around 10 weeks with dd1......

Rollergirl1 Wed 29-Jul-09 10:43:47

Famished: They did think there was a link which is why they advised weaning later. I think the main reason they suggest later weaning though is because babies are thought to have immature digestive systems and their guts aren't actually able to process some foods too early.

AitchTwoOh Wed 29-Jul-09 10:46:24

i don't think the connection is definitively established at all, tbh. however as dp herself demonstrates, the recommended weaning age is an irrelevance to most people anyway. not on here, but if you look on other parenting sites you see it.

i think the japanese eat a lot of peanut and peanut oil, and their incidence of nut allergy is not high at all, so there may turn out to be something in our 'foods to avoid' thing. results of LEAP study not in as yet, though, despite a number of HVs telling people on here that the advice has changed.

daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 10:46:49

The reason for my question is ds2 has a friend who has a nut and milk allergy......cats also bring him out in a rash? I feel sorry for him but I wonder if he has been over protected?

AitchTwoOh Wed 29-Jul-09 10:48:22

my sister is allergicky, brought up the same way and in the same grotty house that the rest of us were. sometimes the genes combine, i think...

Meglet Wed 29-Jul-09 10:48:49

People have been advised against giving children nuts for years (choking hazard) and I wonder if there's a link between that and part of the allergy problem. In some parts of the world they're weaned on peanut rusks. My sister has just got back from the States and our cousins were told not to eat honey during pregnancy because it might trigger an allergy to bee stings, that can't be right can it?!

My ds comes up in hives sometimes (no idea why despite tests) and has an epi-pen and both the dc's have a bit of excema. But there are no allergies on either side of the family, baffles me TBH. My house isn't too clean I can assure you grin.

bruffin Wed 29-Jul-09 10:57:10

I think genes have a lot to do with it. DH is allergic to some treenuts,animals and hayfever as well as eczema. I have eczema and hayfever. DS is allergic treenuts, seeds and has outgrown peanut allergy also cats and hayfever. DD has no allergies.
I ate peanut butter on toast everyday throughout both pregnancies.

There is a few studies now showing that later weaning actually causes allergies.

StinkyFart Wed 29-Jul-09 10:59:09

dp yanbu

I don't think that anyone knows the causes of allergies - unpicking environmental and genetic interplays is surely an impossible task

daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 11:00:59

Meglet.....I blame the Americans......we always copy them.... They have food allergies so we have to have them.....

katiestar Wed 29-Jul-09 11:01:40

This puzzles me too.When I was a baby it was advised to begin weaning at 3-6 weeks of age so much earlier than now.
Morloth may be right about the gene pool.I have always though we have a situation now where evolution is going backwards because people with dangerous illnesses who would previously have died in childhood are now surviving and passing the genes on.
I don't know what a humane and reasonable solution to that is though.Perhaps designer babies ?

Lilymaid Wed 29-Jul-09 11:03:41

I think that in the more distant past children were just said to be "sickly" and the cause wasn't understood.

daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 11:05:12

I gave my DC a varied diet.....always had a pet, didn't stress out if I caught them eating worms.... 4 DC. No allergies

Frasersmum123 Wed 29-Jul-09 11:07:14

I think there is a vast difference between Allergies and Intollerance. Both my DS's have a peanut allergy and both carry epipens, the reaction is very quick and can be life threatening. Intollerance is much slower and causes the body less severe reactions over a period of time.

MmeLindt Wed 29-Jul-09 11:08:52

DD was allergic to hazelnuts and walnuts from around age 2yo.

When we moved to Switzerland we had to have a note from the doc about her allergies before they would let her have school dinners. We mentioned that she had not had an allergic reaction for some time so the doc suggested giving her nuts to see if she was still allergic.

At that point, she admitted that she had been eating walnuts from a tree in her kindergarten.

She had her first nutella sandwich later that day and was ok with it, to her delight.

She seems to have desensitised herself to the allergy by eating small amounts of nuts.

Either that or she just grew out of her allergy.

I did not eat nuts in pregnancy, as I don't like them.

Do they now say we should eat nuts or just not avoid them?

Morloth Wed 29-Jul-09 11:09:46

katiestar I have thought that about evolution, as in we are now keeping people alive who perhaps wouldn't have been able to grow up and pass their genes on before.

But then thinking about it more deeply I realised that we can't make evolution go backwards and that this is a different stage of evolution. There is nothing we can do that is outside of the rules of evolution because we are part of it. Thinking about it too much though gives me a headache and I am not smart enough to write down exactly what I mean!

daftpunk some people are born with allergies though so none of those things would make any difference.

bronze Wed 29-Jul-09 11:10:19

Agree Frasersmum I have noiced some people claiming allergies when in fact they have an intolerance (not all but some)

LindenAvery Wed 29-Jul-09 11:15:38

I think a lot has to do with environmental issues and 'clean' homes plus we tend to suffer less from parasites such as worm infestations- or can treat them rather than just remaining infested.

My DS has always had mild eczema on his hands when he was little which used to flare up from time to time. He then got lots of little warts all over his fingers which took several months to disappear - (advised not to treat as so many of them!) during this time his eczema vanished and when the warts finally disappeared the eczema never came back on his hands, although he still gets a little bit from time-to -time elsewhere.

So his immune system was probably fighting the virus rather than creating the eczema.

wannaBe Wed 29-Jul-09 11:17:34

there is an ongoing study (will try to find link) that is now suggesting that the increase in nut alergies is due to the fact that nuts aren't being introduced soon enough, hence why the advice re eating nuts in pregnancy has now changed.

There has also been a pilot (a mn'er's dd was a part of it) at addenbrooks hospital in cambridge, where nut-alergic children have been desensitised to their alergies by very slow introduction of nut into their daily diet.

Alergies certainly weren't as prevalent when I was a child as they are now - but I do agree with whoever said that often children have an intolerance and it is branded an alergy, which tbh makes things doubly difficult fo children who have a genuine, life-threatening alergy to a food.

daftpunk Wed 29-Jul-09 11:20:09

Maybe some babies are born with allergies......I made sure during my pregnancies I ate everything, the only thing I didn't do was drink alcohol......(or smoke of course)........but food, nothing was off the menu...

Morloth Wed 29-Jul-09 11:22:42

You can't the blame on pregnant women though, there is so much conflicting advice and women (well the ones I know) want so desperately to do the right things for their babies.

I don't think there is any one cause, but a whole bunch of cause creating a "perfect storm" type situation.

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