Can you imagine never being able to touch, let alone eat, peanuts? To never be able to drink a glass of milk?
Maybe you don’t have to imagine. You may be one of the many people who has a food allergy.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed May 14-20 as Food Allergy Week, and I invite you to participate. Help us increase awareness of this growing issue.
A few facts you should know, from foodallergy.org:
- One in 13 children has a food allergy. That’s two in every classroom!
- About one-third of children with a food allergy report that they have been bullied because of it. Learn more about food allergy bullying.
- Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER – that's more than 200,000 visits per year.
- Eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
- Food allergies can begin at any age and affect children and adults of all races and ethnicity.
- There was a 50 percent increase in the prevalence of childhood food allergy between 1997 and 2011.
Want to know what it would feel like to have a food allergy? Pick a food that you usually enjoy. Then, for the next week, avoid it completely. Don’t touch it. Don’t eat it. Then, share your experience on social media, with the hashtag #MGCAllergyWeek.
Robin Go, MD, is board certified in allergy, asthma and immunology. He practices in Spartanburg at Medical Group of the Carolinas – Medical Affiliates – North Grove.