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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
Allergies seem like something out of a science fiction book. Occasionally I come across allergy info. that just seems incredible. So I thought I'd start a new thread about 'weird and amazing allergy facts'.

I've started reading through this extremely thorough, detailed, and long review of the medical literature on peanut allergies, (http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm) and here's one strange finding from a national (US) registry of allergic individuals that was published in the July issue of Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. (the study by Sicherer, Furlong, Munoz-Furlong, Burks and Sampson. "voluntary registry for peanut and tree nut allergy: Characteristics of the first 5149 registrants.":

Quote:
registrants were more likely to have been born in Oct. Nov or Dec.

?!?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:43 pm 
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Location: Canada
I found this surprising (and this is from the same webpage cited above):

Quote:
In 1988, Yunginger et al, of the Dept of Pediatrics, Mayo Medical School, Clinic and Foundation, published their findings on fatal food-induced anaphylaxis (rarely reported at that time.) . . . in 16 months, they identified 7 such cases (5 males and two females, aged 11 to 43 years). [. . . .] Factors contributing to the severity of individual reactions included denial of symptoms, concomitant intake of alcohol, reliance on oral antihistamines alone to treat symptoms, and adrenal suppression by chronic glucocorticoid therapy for coexisting asthma (reduction of immune defense due to long-term use of inhaled cortisone preparations). . . each case showed elevated levels of IgE antibodies to the incriminated foods.


I knew that alcohol consumption could heighten an allergic response and that severe reactions are often associated with asthma. I thought though that it was the asthma itself which accounted for this....I didn't know that there was a possibilty that the medication to treat asthma could have a systemic effect and result in a more severe reaction. (disclaimer: I'm not certain whether this is a conclusion or just speculation.) This isn't to say that asthmatics should cut down on the corticosteroids. Because out of control asthma in and of itself can contribute to a more severe reaction it is definitely important to stay on one's meds. I guess the message here is that asthmatics really need to stay close to their epis.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
Two more interesting findings from this same page, and I quote:

Quote:
Dr. Peter Vadas of the University of Toronto has been comparing blood samples from people who had mild peanut reactions to samples from people who died from the allergy. He has found, he said, that those who died had low levels of an enzyme that breaks down chemicals that contribute to the severity of a reaction.In the short run, Vadas said, measuring levels of the enzyme ''can help stratify people, to point to those most at risk for having severe reactions.'' Those people would know they needed to take extreme precautions, he said, and others with the allergy could be liberated from the constant worry that a sudden reaction could kill them.What's more, he said, if patients' levels of the enzyme can be increased, that could, theoretically, protect them from fatal reactions.


and later on this same page (but I stress that this isn't something that is a recommended treatment--also see http://www.foodallergy.org/press_releases/charcoal.html)

Quote:
Activated charcoal forms non IgE binding complexes with peanut proteins, is the title of a study by Vadas and Perlman in the July 2003 J Allergy Clin Immunol. They report that activated charcoal adsorbs to peanut proteins, forming insoluble complexes that no longer allow the peanut proteins to bind IgE. These data suggest that administration of activated charcoal soon after accidental ingestion of peanut might be a useful adjunct in the management of peanut-induced anaphylaxis. This approach is likely to be applicable to the prevention of more severe and prolonged anaphylacic ractions to other foods as well.


Activated charcoal *won't* stop a reaction...and it could render oral antihistamines ineffective. An epi is the first thing one should reach for, and the FAAN cautions people to consult with their allergist before adding to their current arsenal of allergy meds. (Also: 'activated charcoal' is not to be confused with regular charcoal.) I'm betting that's why I've never heard of this before.

*But* I wonder if this info. would be very useful for people on betablockers---which, as I understand, also block the effect of epinephrine.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:19 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Lisa, I have heard of the activated charcoal before. How old is that article? (Sorry but my computer is being quite finicky and I can't do much. Can't even post on one board I go to. <grrrr> )


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:30 pm 
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The article is fairly recent--July 2003.

On another one of the articles I posted about above--I've been thinking about why the month that someone is born could possibly relate to whether they would be likely to develop allergies, and I came up with an idea. (disclaimer: this is pure speculation) Last night on the news I heard about a study which shows that the right amount of Vitamin D can help prevent cancer. Usually when these things come out, doctors caution the public that the study is preliminary, etc. But the doctor on the news strongly suggested that everyone should go out and buy Vitamin D supplements--he suggested taking 1000 IU a day (I *think* that was the amount....but I would check this fact for accuracy before going out and buying Vitamin D). There is some Vitamin D in milk, but apparently not enough. The best source is sunshine which we don't get a lot of this time of the year! And freshwater fish like salmon is a good source.

Anyway, putting 2 and 2 together I wonder if a lack of vitamin D during a child's early months when the immune system is developing could make it more likely that the child could develop allergies. Since I'm not big on astrology :) I'm guessing that the birth month associated with allergies would have to do with something about the winter weather. Another idea: maybe our indoor environments which are fairly airtight aren't the best and babies born in those months are more likely to spend most of their time indoors at the crucial time when the immune system is developing...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:16 pm 
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
Maybe people born in oct/nov/dec are just the responsible kind that tend to voluntarily register for a peanut/nut registry! :lol: Being an october baby myself, I am registered to recieve recalls, and other info from anaphylaxis canada. I would probably register my daughter because I like to contribute to there being some accurate facts out there on allergies, such as what percentage of the population is affected.

Both my daughters are march babies, and my allergic husband is a july baby. I am born in oct. and only have minor drug allergies. Sorry that contradicts your theory, however it did sound like a good idea.

Maybe oct/nov/dec babies are more likely to develop nut allergies because of peoples crazy obsession with nuts at christmas. Maybe the babies are exposed to crazy, large amounts of nuts by :roll: numerous nut eating adults who just want to hug and kiss them and cover them in traces of nuts. :evil:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:43 pm 
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saskmommyof2 wrote:
Maybe people born in oct/nov/dec are just the responsible kind that tend to voluntarily register for a peanut/nut registry! :lol:


I'll buy that--my bday is in Nov :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:17 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Sorry to squash your survey but my peanut-allergic son was born in June. I used to belong to an allergy support group (until the meetings moved farther away from my home) and in this group we noted a lot of boys the same age with peanut allergy. Was is something in the water that year????


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:39 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC
I belonged to a support group to in which it was 6 boys, 1 girl all born in 1997. I thought that was weird at the time. the boys were allergic to peanuts (all) and some were multiple inluding peanuts, but the girl was just walnuts.

I think (purely speculative) there may be a connection with autism too. I work with kids with special needs and it seems to me that kids with autism are way more likely than average to have allergies/LTA. I asked AC if they had heard anything about that but they had not.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:10 am 
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Location: Toronto
There also seems to be a lot of kids recognized as gifted that have food allergies.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:22 am 
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AnnaMarie wrote:
There also seems to be a lot of kids recognized as gifted that have food allergies.

I'll buy that....my son is brilliant! :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
I agree as well. My four 1/2 year old daughter has been reading for months, and by reading I mean, read the bedtime story unassisted, or take a book of the shelf and read it during the day. She could write her name at 3 1/2. I never pushed any of it on them, she was just interested and picked it up. My daughters preschool teachers said that in 14 years of teaching preschool she is one of the most advanced kids they have ever had.

My 2 1/2 year old can recognize all letters, can type her name on the computer unassisted, knows all colors, numbers and shapes. While picking up my older daughter from preschool one day she spelled out all the words on posters in the coat room. Another parent said that her 4 1/2 year old does not know his letters and I overheard her a few days later telling the teacher that she was concerned her son was behind academically. The teacher said that her son was average in his abilities, and that my daughters are both well above average.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:44 pm 
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A friend of mine has a child who has some tendencies associated with Asperger's (sp?) syndrome---which is a form of autism--and according to the research she has done there is a link between this condition and food sensitivities. So I wouldn't be surprised if there is an autism link.


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