Have you ever heard one of your friends complaining that they had an allergy to a certain food item but they never got an allergy test to clarify? Well, chances are they’re wrong about it.
According to a study published by the medical journal JAMA Network Open, Almost one in five U.S Adults is convinced that they are allergic to at least one food. However, in reality, only one in ten people have got an allergy to a specific type of food.
The data of the study was gathered by researchers from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University. They asked around forty-thousand Americans what they’ve experienced in relation to food allergies. Over half the participants claimed to have had at least one severe reaction within their life. They also found that 45 percent were allergic to multiple foods. However, the individuals who incorrectly thought they had an allergy didn’t have the symptoms to back it up.
However, less than a quarter of the participants actually had a prescription for an EpiPen, a device used to combat exposure to a substance that someone’s allergic to. On top of that, only around half of the people in the study had their claims confirmed by a physician.
This doesn’t mean that these people are liars though, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said: “While we found that one in 10 adults have food allergy, nearly twice as many adults think that they are allergic to foods, while their symptoms may suggest food intolerance or other food-related conditions.”
What this means is that these people are probably not even getting an allergy test, to begin with. This is even something that the authors of the study recommend people go and do. You see, this basically leads to them or their friends and family, self-diagnosing themselves, which isn’t a good thing considering the actual needs of people who are allergic to certain foods. For example, if one person thought that they were allergic to fish and they went to a festival, which gave them special eating options due to them claiming they’re allergic, the person who’s actually allergic to fish might not get to eat at all since everyone else already took their foods.