Navigating the world of food allergies can be daunting to parents, teachers, friends and family. Dr. Ghassan Safadi, Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist, who runs a practice in Findlay, weighed in on the prevalence of food allergies. “Food allergies affect an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population. Although many people think of food intolerance or digestive issues as allergies, real food allergies are truly a life-threatening event. True allergic reactions to food include hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing and throat closing that occur usually within minutes following food ingestion.”
There are a lot of questions concerning why food allergies have become so common, but not many answers. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there is no clear evidence linking the avoidance or consumption of certain foods during pregnancy as a cause of food allergies in children. The recommendation is simply to eat a balanced diet during pregnancy and nursing. In most cases, there is no need to delay feeding a 4 to 6-month baby solid foods such as eggs, dairy, and nut butters but parents should always speak with their pediatrician about the timing of allergenic foods to make sure it is safe for their baby.
Read all food labels to avoid the allergens and always carry life-saving epinephrine with you. Speak with family, friends, and caretakers to educate them on the seriousness of food allergies. As Dr. Safadi points out, “The problem is no one knows when a reaction starts or whether that reaction is going to become a serious one. It is therefore recommended that epinephrine be administered following any confirmed allergenic food ingestion that is associated with definitive symptoms (such as hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing), and call 911 right away.”
If you have Food Allergy questions, we have answers! Send them to
Dr. Ghassan Safadi, 1818 Chapel Drive, Suite A, Findlay.