According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, some kids who may be allergic to one or two foods are restricted from eating dozens of things, just because their parents would rather avoid any risk at all. Now, a new set of guidelines released this week by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends that doctors and families should seek to nail down a firm diagnosis, using a combination of testing and oral challenges (that's when a patient
eats a suspected allergen in a safe clinical setting).
In so doing, the guideline authors suggest, it's likely that the overall number of food-allergy diagnoses will decrease -- and a lot of kids and parents will find that their culinary palette has expanded. Whatever allergies you have in your family, now's a good time to call your doctor and see whether it's time to reassess the diagnosis in light of the new guidelines.
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Our son had a bad reaction to a walnut, and subsequent blood tests revealed reactions to pecans as well. I know that I'm looking forward to speaking with his allergist about whether we can pinpoint the actual dangers and maybe lessen everyone's anxiety around nuts in general.