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Allergies may be result of too much caution

Category: Allergy Testing

There is a growing belief among allergists and doctors that being overly cautious in keeping a child from encountering germs and pathogens may make them more susceptible to developing allergies.

This hygiene theory has been proposed as an attempt to reconcile the increasing allergy rate with cleaner, more allergen-free conditions. The theory proposes that lack of stimulation of the immune system when young can make it over-sensitive later, resulting in allergy.

"If children are crawling around, petting animals and putting their dirty hands in their mouths, it's fine, because they're stimulating their immune system," said Dr. Madhu Berman, a Rancho Palos Verdes-based allergist in an article in The Daily Breeze.

In the last decade, food allergies in children, have risen 18 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Overall, about 55 percent of Americans report some sort of allergy, and that number has also been rising.

"Every child and every family needs to be looked at uniquely," said Nicole Meadows, a pediatric dietitian.

Suspected allergies can now be verified with simple allergy tests, making it less necessary to avoid a food or oversanitize and area out of mere suspicion of an allergic reaction.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19240503-ADNFCR

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