Skin tests are often the first step in identifying allergies.

Food allergies strike close to home

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.

How are allergies diagnosed? Learn more from Dr. Go.

A few facts you should know, from

  • 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.

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