Dr. Soteres, your local Colorado Springs allergist at Asthma & Allergy Associates P.C., found a recent article on Food Allergies and the risk of life threatening reactions that sparked his attention. Since death from food allergy reactions always seems to be the elephant in the room and probably the worst worry on any mother or father’s mind, Dr. Danny wanted to get the facts straight for all food allergy sufferers out there.
According to an article published by Science Daily, Dying from food allergy less likely than being murdered, “a person with a food allergy is more likely to be murdered than to die from a severe reaction, according to a new study.” This may be surprising news to some, but to our Food Allergy Experts here at the AACOS Food Allergy Center, this is nothing new. We have always tried to educate our patients on food allergy symptoms, reactions, diagnosis and treatment so all the cards are laid out on the table. Our patient’s knowledge of their health ailment is one of the first objectives we like to meet.
As Dr. Soteres found, food allergic reactions can range from a mild itchy rash to a severe, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Fatal reactions to food allergies happen. Last summer the case of a teenage girl who died from a food allergic reaction at camp gained national attention. The fear of a life-threatening reaction can have a paralyzing effect on patients and their families.
A recent meta-analysis completed in England reviewed medical literature from 1946 to 2012 and found the risk of fatal reactions to be “very rare” and much lower than the risk of death by accidents. The authors concluded that for most patients, food allergies will have little impact on overall mortality risk. Allergen avoidance and anaphylaxis management strategies are still essential. However, the risk of a death from ingesting a food allergen is less than 1 in 100,000.
This risk is much lower than the risk of dying in a car accident and slightly lower than the risk of being murdered, but still slightly higher than the risk of being struck by lightning. This may offer some perspective and reassurance for patients and families of those with food allergies. According to the Business Insider article titled, You Are More Likely To Be Murdered Than Die From Your Nut Allergy, “People with food allergies in the U.S. are more likely to be murdered than die from an allergic reaction,” stated Lauren F. Friedman. “The risk that a person will die due to a random accident is 100 times greater than the risk that a food-allergic person will die from a fatal allergic reaction.”
Food allergies can be scary, but our Food Allergy Experts here at Asthma & Allergy Associates want you to know that we can bring you and your family comfort with knowing the facts and following our suggested Allergy Action Plan. If your food allergy symptoms still have you worries, please don’t hesitate to give one of our 3 Colorado Allergy Clinic locations a call today! Our friendly and helpful staff are here to answer any of your questions about food allergies and look forward to booking an appointment with you.