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How much hate mail will this guy get? ...
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cmeisenzahl
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Jan 10, 2009, 08:34 AM
 
Nut allergies -- a Yuppie invention - Los Angeles Times
Some kids really do have food allergies. But most just have bad reactions to their parents' mass hysteria.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...3149168.column
     
tooki
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Jan 10, 2009, 09:44 AM
 
I've wondered whether it really was likely that food (and other) allergies increase massively over one generation. It's not bloody likely.

But if it is true, here's my explanation why: the immune system needs to work, and we live in too-sterile an environment. If the immune system has no germs to work on, it starts attacking us, and being triggered by the wrong things. (Note that it's now proven kids that grow up in a house with dogs and cats are significantly less likely to have allergies as adults.)
     
ghporter
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Jan 10, 2009, 09:45 AM
 
He's going to get a ton. Much of it warranted, and much from poorly informed or misinformed parents who think that everything from whiny behavior to poor reading skills come from food allergies.

Allergies in general and food allergies in particular are on the rise, no doubt about it. One explanation is that we are bombarding kids' immune systems with far more irritants and chemicals than in past generations. Another is that some parents are trying to provide their children a sterile environment to protect them from disease and accidentally wind up not exposing them (gently, gradually) to potentially irritating items like certain foods so that their systems become accustomed to these items. Think about what George Carlin said: when he was a kid, he swam in the East River, and was thus exposed to EVERYTHING, resulting in a robust and active immune system. There is a lot of real research to back that up.

Sometimes it's not an allergy but a sensory problem (think about how peanuts go from hard and crunchy to soft and squishy as you chew them-some kids (and some adults!) can't handle that sort of thing). Sometimes it's just behavior problems that the parents could impact by growing a pair and actually parenting! And sometimes it's something else altogether, like reflux (yes, kids get reflux).

But whatever the cause, until people stop publishing dreck that comes out of some profiteer's waste orifice, parents are going to continue grasping at straws to explain their kids' activities and behavior.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter
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Jan 10, 2009, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
I've wondered whether it really was likely that food (and other) allergies increase massively over one generation. It's not bloody likely.

But if it is true, here's my explanation why: the immune system needs to work, and we live in too-sterile an environment. If the immune system has no germs to work on, it starts attacking us, and being triggered by the wrong things. (Note that it's now proven kids that grow up in a house with dogs and cats are significantly less likely to have allergies as adults.)
You're very close to the science of it. Rather than "attacking us," a poorly conditioned, under-exposed immune system becomes hypersensitive, so even the tiniest, least annoying molecule could cause the system to go into full-blown attack mode, overflowing into such things as anaphylactic shock. Last year a teenager died from anaphylaxis after kissing a girl who'd eaten peanut butter...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Ghoser777
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Jan 10, 2009, 12:11 PM
 
That would be pretty traumatic.
     
lyanma
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Jan 10, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Think about what George Carlin said: when he was a kid, he swam in the East River, and was thus exposed to EVERYTHING, resulting in a robust and active immune system. There is a lot of real research to back that up.
No wonder why homeless people live so long....
I agree with you Ghporter, kids are exposed to much more cleaner enviroments, and it seems to be that clean is not always better?
So I wiki the immune sistem and found this:
Wikipedia: An immune system is a collection of biological processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly.
So it couldn't be more obvious that sometimes we just need to get exposed to some dirt....But don't go and jump on a pile of trash and dirt....
Parents may think they are doing their kids a favor by testing them and being hyper-vigilant about monitoring what they eat, but it's not cool to freak kids out. Only 20% of kids who get a positive allergy test result need treatment.
How can you not be doing a favor to a kid by testing them. You should just let them die from whatever it is that will cause them allergies?...I really don't think this is a mass hysteria.
     
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Jan 10, 2009, 12:23 PM
 
Is it true that peanuts are banned in schools?
     
Ghoser777
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Jan 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
 
Nope. There are peanut free zones in some schools if a student has a severe allergy to peanuts.
     
Angelo78
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Jan 10, 2009, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
He's going to get a ton. Much of it warranted, and much from poorly informed or misinformed parents who think that everything from whiny behavior to poor reading skills come from food allergies.

Allergies in general and food allergies in particular are on the rise, no doubt about it. One explanation is that we are bombarding kids' immune systems with far more irritants and chemicals than in past generations. Another is that some parents are trying to provide their children a sterile environment to protect them from disease and accidentally wind up not exposing them (gently, gradually) to potentially irritating items like certain foods so that their systems become accustomed to these items. Think about what George Carlin said: when he was a kid, he swam in the East River, and was thus exposed to EVERYTHING, resulting in a robust and active immune system. There is a lot of real research to back that up.

Sometimes it's not an allergy but a sensory problem (think about how peanuts go from hard and crunchy to soft and squishy as you chew them-some kids (and some adults!) can't handle that sort of thing). Sometimes it's just behavior problems that the parents could impact by growing a pair and actually parenting! And sometimes it's something else altogether, like reflux (yes, kids get reflux).

But whatever the cause, until people stop publishing dreck that comes out of some profiteer's waste orifice, parents are going to continue grasping at straws to explain their kids' activities and behavior.
Well said!

I remember seeing a couple on television showing how they let their baby eat some snacks off the floor. They didn't clean every inch of the house with sterilizing agents or go crazy with protecting the child from other kids with colds. The parents are both medical doctors and understand that sheltering the baby would do more harm than good.
( Last edited by Angelo78; Jan 10, 2009 at 01:45 PM. )
     
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Jan 10, 2009, 01:50 PM
 
Part of the mass hysteria is also effected by the easy access people have to multiple 24-hour news sources, news on demand via the internet, and ease of communication via a site like facebook and by email. 20 years ago you got a 1/2 hour of the news at 6am, repeated at noon, new news at 6pm, repeated at 11am. Most people did not read national newspapers and UPI and the AP wasn't as prevalent in local newspapers.
     
Uriel
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Jan 10, 2009, 02:16 PM
 
While I do agree that some parents are far to quick to diagnose their kids (and sometimes themselves) with untrue diseases, I also sympathize with those who have legitimate ones.

My wife is a nursing student and is deathly allergic to nuts. If I eat peanut butter I have to make sure I don't kiss her for about an hour and drink a lot of water. I kissed her on the cheek once and her cheek swelled up really bad. The Dr. told her she would go into anaphylactic shock if she ingested them.

However I'm also around a ton of kids who show none of these symptoms and who's parents have scared them to death.
     
villalobos
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Jan 10, 2009, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
He's going to get a ton. Much of it warranted, and much from poorly informed or misinformed parents who think that everything from whiny behavior to poor reading skills come from food allergies.

Allergies in general and food allergies in particular are on the rise, no doubt about it. One explanation is that we are bombarding kids' immune systems with far more irritants and chemicals than in past generations. Another is that some parents are trying to provide their children a sterile environment to protect them from disease and accidentally wind up not exposing them (gently, gradually) to potentially irritating items like certain foods so that their systems become accustomed to these items. Think about what George Carlin said: when he was a kid, he swam in the East River, and was thus exposed to EVERYTHING, resulting in a robust and active immune system. There is a lot of real research to back that up.

Sometimes it's not an allergy but a sensory problem (think about how peanuts go from hard and crunchy to soft and squishy as you chew them-some kids (and some adults!) can't handle that sort of thing). Sometimes it's just behavior problems that the parents could impact by growing a pair and actually parenting! And sometimes it's something else altogether, like reflux (yes, kids get reflux).

But whatever the cause, until people stop publishing dreck that comes out of some profiteer's waste orifice, parents are going to continue grasping at straws to explain their kids' activities and behavior.
The day we'll understand what is going on with allergic reactions and inflammations has not come yet.... While there are proofs to what you say about being exposed to allergens helping not being allergic, there are also cases where exposure will trigger a sensitization. I know of people who suddenly became allergic in their 40s and some who suddenly stopped being allergic. So many pathways and receptors are involved in allergic reactions it is not easy to understand, and while we have become pretty good at treating the symptoms, curing it is almost impossible (to the delight of drug companies I shall say).
This said I agree that the population in the US is in general overprotected. I remember staying three years in the US without going home : my first day home I got food poisoning, from something I would normally have been able to eat without issue. I.e. I was a tourist in my home country...
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 10, 2009, 03:08 PM
 
Weird I have had tons of food allergies all my life but I guess I think I was the only kid in the world to until 2006.

At the end of the day it is just another marketing method.
     
shifuimam
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Jan 10, 2009, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
I've wondered whether it really was likely that food (and other) allergies increase massively over one generation. It's not bloody likely.

But if it is true, here's my explanation why: the immune system needs to work, and we live in too-sterile an environment. If the immune system has no germs to work on, it starts attacking us, and being triggered by the wrong things. (Note that it's now proven kids that grow up in a house with dogs and cats are significantly less likely to have allergies as adults.)
That's exactly the same theory my mom and I have. Parents are paranoid about their kids getting dirty and whatnot. Slate has an interesting article about it. More specifically, why our too-sterile environment makes us hypersensitive to things like bacteria in food, because immune systems are so weak.

That being said, I grew up in an outdoor-centric environment. My brother and I played outside constantly, hiked around in the woods behind our house, etc. Unfortunately, it didn't keep either of us from developing ragweed allergy (Indiana's big for those kind of seasonal allergies), and my allergies have gotten worse as I've gotten older. My skin breaks out in hives over just about anything (stress, fever, allergies, heat, cold, etc), and I've been that way since I was a toddler.

I dated a guy who wouldn't eat strawberries because he said he was allergic. It turns out that he had never had a strawberry in his life; his parents had just scared him into never trying foods that might cause an allergy.

People are fruitcakes.
     
starman
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Jan 10, 2009, 06:05 PM
 
My nephew is literally deathly allergic to peanuts, and has been since birth. His brother is outside all the time, my sister and her husband are outdoor people.

/shrug

I became lactose intolerant 10 years ago after having milk and ice cream on a regular basis.

/shrug

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tooki
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Jan 10, 2009, 06:06 PM
 
I was always outside playing in the dirt (and when I was very, very little, eating it, too, like kids are supposed to), and had animals of all kinds in the house at all ages (cats, dogs, rodents, birds, fish...), so there was always a steady supply of germs to be had. No allergies now except dust and some kinds of cigarette smoke.

And I can enjoy eating whatever I want -- my mom never forced me to eat anything I didn't like, but I couldn't say I didn't like it unless I tried it first!
     
Rumor
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Jan 10, 2009, 06:55 PM
 
I used to be allergic to pollen and dust mites, but it has subsided over the years. No food allergies that I know of.

Also, I rarely take any medication other than ibuprofen, and I maybe get sick once a year. I just got over something, but only picked it up because of flying. I wish people would cover their damn mouths.
I like my water with hops, malt, hops, yeast, and hops.
     
moonmonkey
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Jan 10, 2009, 08:24 PM
 
Im allergic to sunlight and I have to wear a large silver tent when I go out to see ballet or the opera.
     
Oisín
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Jan 10, 2009, 08:35 PM
 
I was highly allergic to lots and lots of different kinds of artificially produced colouring agents and preservatives when I was a kid. We had to buy more or less everything from ridiculously expensive organic food stores, ’cause in the late 1980s, everything was chock-full of E numbers (the artificial ones, I mean). They originally found out because I was given some baby penicillin (strawberry flavour) when I was still in my incubator, and my body freaked out.

When I was about three or four (I think), I developed an odd allergy to pasteurised or homogenised milk—and when I say odd, I mean odd. It wouldn’t make me go into anaphylactic shock or give me rashes or anything; it would make my ears hurt. Not sure what the hell it was, but I drank organic, non-pasteurised, non-homogenised, lumpy cream-milk for a decade and hate the stuff with a passion now.

About the time I hit puberty, though, both seemed to be gone, so now I can eat and drink pretty much anything I like. I’ve also never had food poisoning (despite living in China for 16 months), so I guess my body’s taking its revenge for being such a pussy for all those years.
     
lyanma
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Jan 10, 2009, 09:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post

/shrug

I became lactose intolerant 10 years ago after having milk and ice cream on a regular basis.

/shrug
I've been lactose intolerant my entire life. It once temporarily went away and I was able to drink milk and everything, but after 5 years I became lactose intolerant once again...
You dont get that from having too much milk and ice cream! Your body is not producing enough enzyme lactase.
Some people just go through that for a short period of time, then everything goes back to normal, I'm sure you'll be ok soon.
I'm also allergic to dust mites (yeah I'm asthmatic), I cant eat sausages and I'm not suppose to eat anything with colorants or preservatives. But I do keep eating all of those things, and I'm still alive (:
     
Shaddim
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Jan 11, 2009, 01:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ghoser777 View Post
That would be pretty traumatic.
and similar to the first X-men film.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 08:46 AM
 
I read the title of this thread and instantly knew what article it was talking about

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ghporter
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Jan 11, 2009, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
When I was about three or four (I think), I developed an odd allergy to pasteurised or homogenised milk—and when I say odd, I mean odd. It wouldn’t make me go into anaphylactic shock or give me rashes or anything; it would make my ears hurt. Not sure what the hell it was, but I drank organic, non-pasteurised, non-homogenised, lumpy cream-milk for a decade and hate the stuff with a passion now.
That could easily have been reflux. My only reflux symptom is stuffy ears that won't "pop." It's been a problem long enough for me that one ear's eustachian tube is permanently damaged. But it's not uncommon for growth spurts to leave parts behind, like the "cardiac sphincter" which closes off your esophagus. So drinking that other stuff probably just caused less acid production than the regular, pasteurized, homogenized stuff, reducing the reflux.

You were "sensitive" to the milk products, but not actually "allergic" to them. A semantic difference then—your parents certainly had a problem taking care of you—but the difference is important none the less. If parents actually got solid, factual, non-hyped information about the difference between allergies, sensitivities and sensory problems, we wouldn't see this sort of discussion across Western culture.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ThinkInsane
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Jan 11, 2009, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ghoser777 View Post
Nope. There are peanut free zones in some schools if a student has a severe allergy to peanuts.
Although there are schools with "peanut free zones", there are many districts that are now "peanut free" period. I've read about districts that will treat a student that brings a package of peanut butter cups to school in the exact same manner as if that student had brought a gun, as peanut products apparently have the same potential to cause mass death amongst the student population.

I was discussing the article in Time magazine on this topic the other day with a friend that's an ER nurse. She stated that in ten years working in the ER, she's only seen one person with an anaphylactic reaction to nuts. She also stated that she has had probably a couple hundred cases of "my son ate a bag of peanuts and is deathly allergic" only to have the kid sit there and happily play with his G.I. Joe with no signs of distress. Go figure.

I don't ever remember this being a problem in school, and one the default lunch choices in the cafeteria was always triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As a matter of fact if we went on field trips, that was always the "bag lunch" the cafeteria sent with us. If they only knew what they know now. Coulda killed half the student population with such dangerous food. Might as well have the lunch ladies back there preparing fugu!
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Oisín
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Jan 11, 2009, 08:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
That could easily have been reflux. My only reflux symptom is stuffy ears that won't "pop." It's been a problem long enough for me that one ear's eustachian tube is permanently damaged. But it's not uncommon for growth spurts to leave parts behind, like the "cardiac sphincter" which closes off your esophagus. So drinking that other stuff probably just caused less acid production than the regular, pasteurized, homogenized stuff, reducing the reflux.
But wouldn’t something reflux-related also normally involve some actual refluxing? I never had any gastric refluxing when drinking pasteurised/homogenised milk, it was just that about five to ten minutes later, my ears would invariably start to hurt. I don’t think we ever saw a doctor about it or found out why it happened; we just got me different milk.

You were "sensitive" to the milk products, but not actually "allergic" to them. A semantic difference then—your parents certainly had a problem taking care of you—but the difference is important none the less. If parents actually got solid, factual, non-hyped information about the difference between allergies, sensitivities and sensory problems, we wouldn't see this sort of discussion across Western culture.
True—I just used ‘allergic’ as a more generic term here.

Which category would my allergy to work fall under, then?
     
ghporter
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Jan 11, 2009, 10:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
But wouldn’t something reflux-related also normally involve some actual refluxing? I never had any gastric refluxing when drinking pasteurised/homogenised milk, it was just that about five to ten minutes later, my ears would invariably start to hurt. I don’t think we ever saw a doctor about it or found out why it happened; we just got me different milk.



True—I just used ‘allergic’ as a more generic term here.

Which category would my allergy to work fall under, then?
As I said, my only noticeable symptom of reflux is stuffy ears. You may have had reflux for a long time and not noticed it the way you'd expect. It's a very odd sort of problem.

Your "allergy" to work is like mine. It's a psychosocial dilemma rather than an actual allergy. Too bad we just have to deal, eh?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
legacyb4
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Jan 12, 2009, 01:18 AM
 
People do overreact; last year my son's school passed out a note asking people not to bring tuna fish sandwiches due to possible seafood allergies by kids.
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Jan 25, 2009, 06:10 PM
 
     
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Jan 29, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ghoser777 View Post
Nope. There are peanut free zones in some schools if a student has a severe allergy to peanuts.
Depends on the school board, district, etc. There are a lot of schools that ban peanuts. Seems to me the best solution would be a peanut-free lunch room and a regular lunch room, but some schools go overboard.
     
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Jan 29, 2009, 02:19 PM
 
I bet Corky Simpson got more hate mail recently....
     
   
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