Addressing Common Misconceptions in Food Allergy: A Review

Aikaterini Anagnostou
2021 Children  
Food allergies are common, affecting 1 in 13 school children in the United States and their prevalence is increasing. Many misconceptions exist with regards to food allergy prevention, diagnosis and management. Objective: The main objective of this review is to address misconceptions with regards to food allergies and discuss the optimal, evidence-based approach for patients who carry this diagnosis. Observations: Common misconceptions in terms of food allergy prevention include beliefs that
more » ... astfeeding and delayed introduction of allergenic foods prevent the development of food allergies. In terms of diagnosis, statements such as 'larger skin prick tests or/and higher levels of food-specific IgE can predict the severity of food-induced allergic reactions', or 'Tryptase is always elevated in food-induced anaphylaxis' are inaccurate. Additionally, egg allergy is not a contraindication for receiving the influenza vaccine, food-allergy related fatalities are rare and peanut oral immunotherapy, despite reported benefits, is not a cure for food allergies. Finally, not all infants with eczema will develop food allergies and epinephrine auto-injectors may unfortunately be both unavailable and underused in food-triggered anaphylaxis. Conclusions and relevance: Healthcare professionals must be familiar with recent evidence in the food allergy field and avoid common misunderstandings that may negatively affect prevention, diagnosis and management of this chronic disease.
doi:10.3390/children8060497 fatcat:rv22hvgvjvhq5d6tljpdaspfpa