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Why are There So Many Food Allergies Today?

Q: Since my 6-year-old has multiple allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, soy and sesame), people ask me all the time: why are there so many food allergies today? Do you have a good shorthand answer?  Dr. Sicherer: The shortest answer is “we do not know exactly” and the long answer could involve writing a tome. There are […]

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How Can I Guard My Allergic Child Against Kindergarten Allergen Exposures?

Q: I’ve got a child who is highly active and impulsive. He has milk, egg and peanut allergies and is just starting kindergarten. The school seems allergy-aware, but it’s my son I’m worried about. Do you have any advice? I’m doubtful my messages are getting through to this Curious George. Dr. Watson: Sending a child with […]

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Can Peanut and Egg Allergies be Related?

Q: My daughter has developed an egg allergy at 12 months. At the appointment where tests confirmed this, the allergist mentioned being “mindful of possible peanut allergy.” I’m confused: are these two allergies related? And what can I do to be careful? Dr. Watson: Your daughter is an age where new food allergies can develop. I think the […]

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Is Shea Nut Butter Safe With a Tree-Nut Allergy?

Q: My 5-year-old is allergic to tree nuts, and I’d like to know more about shea (nut) butter, as it’s in so many products. Is it safe to use on her skin as a lotion? Are candies with it safe for her to eat?  Dr. Sicherer: Shea nut butter or oil is derived from the seed of […]

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Asthma and Swimming: How to Keep Chlorine in Check

Q: We’re amazed that our young daughter with asthma loves swimming (indoors as well as out). We thought the water and chlorine would bother her lungs, but they don’t. Is swimming OK for, or even good for, asthma? Dr. Bassett:  Generally speaking, swimming is among the best exercise choices for a child, adolescent or young […]

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Is There a Connection Between Dry Roasting Peanuts and Allergies?

Q: Does the dry roasting cooking process used to make peanut butter and many peanut snacks have anything to do with how allergenic peanuts have become for so many?  Dr. Sicherer: There is a theory that the process of roasting  makes changes in peanut proteins that result in a more allergenic form. It’s important to realize […]

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Why Does Asthma Put a Food-Allergic Child at a Higher Risk of Anaphylaxis?

Q: Why does asthma put a child with food allergies at higher risk of anaphylaxis than other children with food allergies?  Dr. Sicherer: Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow, become inflamed and make extra mucus. There are many triggers of asthma including airborne allergens, exercise, infections, smoke, cold air, and others. Foods that are otherwise tolerated are […]

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Food Challenges When Outgrowing Milk and Egg Allergies

Q: My severely allergic child passed a baked egg and milk challenge in the allergist’s office. We are starting to introduce foods with baked allergens, like muffins and bread. I’m optimistic but nervous. Do you find many children in our son’s situation returning with reports of reactions or even anaphylaxis? And, if he continues to […]

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Are Lupine Beans Related to Peanuts?

Q: While traveling in France, I had a brioche from a bakery. I’d been assured there were no peanuts in use (I’m an allergic 24-year-old). But after eating it, my throat began to tighten, breathing got difficult and I was sick to my stomach. I used my auto-injector and quickly felt better. I followed up with […]

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Visiting and Asthma: When Relatives Own a Cat

Q: It took a long time to get our 10-year-old daughter’s asthma under control with medication. One of her triggers is cat dander, and over the holidays we’re visiting the in-laws who have a cat. Is it safe to stay with them? (My mother-in-law promises to board the cat, and vacuum like crazy.) Or would […]

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