Allergies Come in all Shapes and Sizes
Just like allergy sufferers. And they are on the rise. For many people allergies can range from sniffling and sneezing to skin rashes to gastrointestinal issues. A certain percentage, however, have more than these uncomfortable symptoms to deal with. Anaphylaxis, a serious life-threatening reaction, causes approximately 1,500 deaths a year in the United States alone. Clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!
Articles for Advocacy
Advocacy at all levels of government is essential in creating a society that is safe for all who are managing allergies. And because people with allergies fly long distances in air planes, it is essential that they be stocked with epinephrine and staffed with people who know how to use it. There are many who advocate for policies that support allergy safety on airlines. Many thanks to Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and David Valadao (R-CA) for taking a leadership role in requiring the stocking epi-auto-injectors on all flights.
Read the details of their progress and encourage them to continue the push. The allergy community will be watching.
US House Members Call for Epinephrine Auto-Injectors to be Mandated on All Flights
By Dave Bloom
June 22, 2023
Epinephrine is the only drug that can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction to a food, drug, insect venom, or environmental substance, provided it is administered in a timely fashion. While epinephrine is normally carried in emergency medical kits aboard commercial flights, it is often in vial form that requires a trained medical professional to administer the drug via syringe.
Like in other areas of our healthcare system where inequities are found, people of color have more food allergies. Jen Christensen of CNN writes of a study by Dr. Mahboobeh Mahdavinia and Dr. Ruchi Gupta that confirms that this is happening. The call for more research into why this is the case is key to remedying this situation.
Study Finds People of Color Have More Food Allergies than White People
By Jen Christensen, CNN
June 14, 2023
People of color and those in lower income brackets seem to be disproportionately affected by food allergies, compared with people who are White and at higher incomes, a new study finds.
It’s an issue that often flies under the radar, according to the authors of the study, which was published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open. There have been only a handful of previous population-based studies on food allergies among people of color, and most of those focus on children. The new research looks at food allergies among people of all ages.
An allergic reaction to food happens when exposure triggers the immune system to go into overdrive and attack the proteins in the food that are normally harmless. More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions, according to FARE, an advocacy organization for people with food allergies.
The top nine allergens rightly command most of the focus of allergy management. But insect stings, especially in the summer months, cannot be forgotten as an allergy risk. There are many stories, including our foundational story, of those with undiagnosed insect sting allergies having an anaphylaxis reaction after being stung. Because they are undiagnosed, they are at a higher risk of dying. For HealthDay, Dr. Tod Mahr writes of the risks insect sting allergies and what to do if you do get stung.
This Summer, Know Your Risk for Insect Sting Allergy
By Todd A. Mahr, MD, HealthDay
June 19, 2023
If you're dreaming of the perfect summer vacation, one element certain to be excluded from that scenario would be an allergic reaction to a stinging insect.
Whether you’re planning to travel within the United States or to a foreign locale, you’ll need to take precautions against stinging insects, especially if you’ve had an allergic reaction to a sting in the past.
According to a recent article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, between 56% and 94% of people are stung in their lifetime. Of those, about 3% involve an allergic reaction. The article examines types of stinging insects, circumstances under which a sting is likely to take place, precautions to take to avoid stings and treatments to consider if you’ve been stung.