Evidence-based food allergy treatments and advice in Mackay
FOOD ALLERGIES IN AUSTRALIA ARE ON THE RISE & CAN BE SEEN AS AN EMERGENCE OF A NEW EPIDEMIC.
A recent Australian study 'The HealthNuts Study' conducted in Melbourne showed a 10% incidence of IgE mediated food allergies in 1 year olds.
This is the highest yet reported in the Western world.
This is a frightening finding if we think on how much food allergies affects patients’ lives.
We ask ourselves why?
Well we have several theories (hygiene theory, vitamin D shortage theory, food allergen exposure, Western diet, pollution), but no individual theory has enough proof to help us with effective prevention.
So what can we do?
The problem is that currently there is no cure for food allergy. Avoidance of the causative food is the only treatment.
Firstly the medical expert must identify the food. This is easier said than done and is often a frustrating task for the patients, parents and doctors.
As the allergy specialists of Mackay, LLoyds Northside Clinic’s doctors take an educated and targeted approach to identifying the causative food. A proper detailed history taken by a doctor trained in food allergies is often the most helpful to decide if the problem is a food allergy or a food intolerance.
Food allergies can be further divided into IgE Mediated/Immediate and Non IgE Mediated/Delayed types (IgE are small particles in your blood formed by your immune system to fight foreign threats).
Patients experiencing skin, stomach and lung related symptoms within minutes to hours after ingesting the causative food often have an IgE Mediated/Immediate food allergy. In a severe form it can lead to anaphylaxis (a serious life-threatening reaction).
At LLoyds Northside Clinic, we are fortunate to have the facility to do skin prick testing to diagnose IgE Mediated/Immediate food allergies. This entails a small painless scratch of the skin that can even be done on very small children. It gives an answer in 15 minutes.
To diagnose the other forms of allergy we need to perform blood tests or put the patient on dietician-supervised elimination diets.
Some patients might even need to be seen by specialist to have more invasive tests like endoscopies done. Once a patient has been diagnosed with a specific allergy we educate the patient on the latest guidelines on how to manage the allergy.
This entails details on how to avoid the food and what to do when they travel or dine out in restaurants.
We will educate them on what to expect in the future with their allergy regarding the chances of it resolving as well as advise them when an oral food challenges is indicated and help to arrange it.
Patients that are at risk of having an anaphylaxis are given a written anaphylaxis action plan. We will prescribe, demonstrate and educate them on how to use adrenalin auto injectors.
Our qualified doctors endeavour to give our patients the latest evidence-based treatments and advice.