Where Did Peanut Allergies Come From?

Posted by: on Dec 23, 2013 | No Comments

The NJ Senate has passed a resolution to urge airlines to protect travelers with peanut allergies. Now, I don’t know about you but I did not know one person growing up who had peanut allergies. Didn’t even hear about them until I had kids of my own and they were in pre-school. So what I want to know is where did peanut allergies come from?

According to the good folks at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, the rate of children suffering from peanut and/or other tree nut allergies tripled from 1997 to 2008.  Tripled!!! That’s a lot of kids in the span of about a decade.

With my curiosity piqued, I did a little digging. One theory is that clean living has caused this dramatic increase. In others, we are so quick to treat and prevent infections that we not only kill off the bad stuff, we also kill off the good stuff that helps prevent other bad stuff.

Linda and I know this from personal experience. When Allie was little, she was prone to sinus and ear infections. Some day I will tell you about the day she had her adenoids removed…that was fun…but I digress. Because she was constantly battling infections, she was also taking meds to fight off those infections. Little did we know that we were also stripping her immune system of the good bacteria everyone needs to fight off colds, infections and other of our bodies little enemies. Who knew that bacteria could be good for you? At one point in her teenage years, Allie was actually taking a probiotic supplement to help rebuild the good bacteria in her system. Luckily for us, of all the ailments that did afflict Allie (and the dozens more she thought she had) peanut allergies was not one of them.

I guess according to this theory, by trying to make our children healthier, we might be doing just the opposite. Maybe that’s a good analogy for how kids are raised in general these days. Maybe we try to do much. Maybe we don’t let them get sick, get dirty, learn to fail, learn to walk on their own. At least that’s the way the rest of you people raise your kids.

An IraSez Update, Tuesday, 12/24 at 2 PM
Wanted to add something to this after the original posting. I’m going with IraSez peanut allergy conspiracy theory. Your child gets sick; your child is prescribed meds from a big pharma company this is trying to recovering billions of R&D dollars; the meds not only cure your child but just so happen to have a nasty side effect or two, one of which completely strips away the good bacteria the immune system needs, so your child continues to get sick and continues to get more meds and develops allergies; allergies treated by big pharmas meds, not to mention the additional meds needed to rebuild the immune system. And you wonder why these folks are so afraid of medical marijuna (but that’s a whole other IraSez post).