Welcome to Allergy Allies!
Inspired by our own experiences of food allergy and of others we have met along the way, I wanted to create a safe space where people can access information all in one place, learn about other’s experiences and to find resources to re-educate those people in our lives who may not understand the situation, adding to the challenges we face. The website is still evolving but I hope we have started to do this and I really look forward to hearing your feedback!
Note: Our food resources focus on the 8 most common children’s allergens, which are; Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Soya, Wheat, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish. However, the website is aimed at all children’s food allergies and everyone’s experience is welcome.
Source: Allergy UK
The UK has some of the highest prevalence rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergic disorder. (M. L. Levy, 2004)
Food allergy affects 3-6% of children in the developed world (3). In the UK, it is estimated that the prevalence for food allergy is 7.1% in breast-fed infants, with 1 in 40 developing peanut allergy and 1 in 20 developing egg allergy (BSACI, 2011).
Food allergies are a cause of particular concern in young children, where the incidence of food allergy (often life threatening) is estimated to be greater in toddlers (5-8%) than in adults (1-2%) (Pawankar R, et al, 2013).
The prevalence of CMA (Cows Milk Allergy) in children living in the developed world is approximately 2% to 3%, making it the most common cause of food allergy in the paediatric population. Only among breastfed infants is the prevalence lower (0.5 %). These numbers most likely refer to IgE mediated CMA, while the prevalence of non-IgE-mediated CMA is not well known (Lifschitz C, 2015).
UK Allergy Prevalence 20%
Food allergy affects 3-6% of children in the developed world
Incidence of food allergy is estimated to be greater in toddlers (5-8%)
The prevalence of CMA (Cows Milk Allergy) in children living in the developed world is approximately 2% to 3%
Source: Allergy UK
Check out the latest forum posts. Share your experiences and tips with others in a similar situation to you!
Neither of our families have any experience with food allergies whatsoever. So C and I had to reply completely on medical advice which at times we found extremely confusing.
I found the whole experience of coping with a baby with CMPA extremely hard and at times frustrating. Mainly, as G never dropped his growth centile he was deemed as 'thriving'. However, despite me mentioning on countless appointments that he had a host of symptoms that I felt were indicating he was in discomfort - I really didn't get any advice that pointed to CMPA.
We only realised the culprit was milk when he started weaning at 6 months. He then had an acute reaction which led to quick diagnosis. It was later concluded as G was breast fed his exposure to milk protein was minimal hence why he never dropped a centile.
Nobody in my / my husband's family have any history of food allergies (just eczema, asthma and cat fur allergy) so when G developed severe eczema at 3 months old and became extremely fussy, constantly feeding in small amounts and was unable to sleep properly due to itching we had no idea there was a link to food allergies. It was torturous to watch and although some of the health visitors suspected food allergies every doctor I spoke to said there was definitely no link, you either have eczema or you don't and prescribed antibiotics for his constant skin infections. We also found that G was constantly unwell with various things and this sometimes resulted in us driving round in the early hours of the morning with him in the car just to allow him to drift off to sleep as he was so uncomfortable. It was a very stressful time for the whole family and we saw doctor after doctor, tried so so many different creams for his eczema and bought him silk scratch mitts so that we didn't have to stay up holding his hands through the night to avoid him cutting himself.
S was always a very sickly baby, always grumpy, never slept, very high needs. She wouldn’t settle in a pram or bouncer never happy to sit and play on the floor. And once weaning started she never ate more than a mouth full. At 18 months I was looking at ingredients for no real reason and saw EGG in the list and it clicked. What if all her unhappiness no sleeping and reflux issues were actually egg related? So after beating ourselves up we binned everything in our home that contained egg, she seemed to get happier her sleep got a little better she started to finally eat a little more food.
Fact: This is more than just an itch or a stomachache. Food allergies can cause symptoms from hives and a stuffy nose, to vomiting, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. If an allergic reaction is severe or involves several parts of the body, it becomes anaphylaxis and can be life-threatening.
Food allergies are not only potentially life-threatening, they’re life-altering. People with food allergies must always be vigilant to ensure they avoid reactions.
Food allergies—and the people who live with them—should always be taken seriously. (Source: Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE))