posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 12:00 AM
Personally, I would believe the allergy is getting more attention.
My family on my mom's side has some dramatic nut allergies. My mom's allergy is so severe that if I were to eat a peanut at work, not wash my hands,
and touch something at her place that night, she'd be in the hospital.
I think that part of the reason this allergy is getting so much attention these days is due to the semi-recent moral vegetarian movement. Many people
are becoming vegetarians in the western world, but their bodies don't agree with their minds: they still need protein. There has been a major influx
of nut-based protein diets and the like. Many companies have also moved from using sunflower oil, veggie oil or something similar to using peanut oil
in making their products.
Now here's a fun fact about allergies and histamines.
Your body seems to have a set level of allergic tolerance, regardless of the origin of the allergy. If you're mildly allergic to shellfish, but eat
clams every day, that allergy will develop into something far worse. Also, if you take out the consistent intake of mild allergens, you will reduce
the severity of major allergies.
As I stated earlier, my mom is severely allergic to nuts. She also reacts the same way to shellfish. She also, it turns out, has several mild
allergies to things she enjoys. She's allergic to black pepper (I am too; y'all might thing Insanity sauce is hot, but you've never eaten a
spoonful of black pepper when you're allergic to it!!!), fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, and some various spices such as cumin. She only recently
discovered this, and changed her diet as a result.
In the past, touching a peanut or dead fish (handling live ones doesn't bother her) meant a trip to the hospital by ambulance, having to bring her
back to life a few times if she didn't have time to take her shot (souped up Benedryl, don't remember the official name, Epipen or something). Yet,
about a year ago, after having taken all of the mild allergens out of her diet, she actually ate a peanut (accidentally). She took her shot,
then about an hour later a pair of Benedryl, and that was the end of it. What would have killed her 5 years ago before the paramedics could even get
into the ambulance was just a comparably mild allergic reaction.
So, personally, I believe we have far more very mild allergies than we are aware. With more and more things being added to food to enhance taste,
color, smell or even texture, our chances of having a mild allergen ingested daily are far higher today than they were 40 years ago. As a result, what
would have once been an average severity allergy is upgraded because of all the other allergens in the body. Nuts and shellfish are the two most
common allergies people have. It would make sense that the allergies that the most people have would also have the most people who are severely
allergic to them. It would also make sense that these people are ingesting other allergens they aren't even aware of. Over time, their allergy's
going to get worse, even from changing from hay fever-like symptoms to catastrophic heart failure.
Conspiracy? Nah, I doubt it. Inadvertent side effect of progress? I would say so.