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Why Your Grandparents Did Not Have Food Allergies

Why Your Grandparents Did Not Have Food Allergies

Allergy to peanuts, eggs, seafood or intolerance to lactose or gluten ... We all know at least one person concerned by these conditions. These problems have grown rapidly and have become commonplace, but deserve increased surveillance on a daily basis. Yet, it seems that our grandparents were developing fewer allergies in their day.

In 1970, only 1% of the world's population suffered from food allergies. In 2010, nearly 7% presented these reactions. In France, there are more than 50 people who die each year due to an allergic reaction. Several reasons can justify this considerable increase and encourage us to an important awareness.

Grandparents Did Not Have Food Allergies

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy can occur at any age but usually occurs before the age of 4 years. Thus, children are more affected by this disorder.

Following the ingestion of a food, the immune system can consider it as a foreign body and defend itself by triggering a pathological reaction. The body's cells record this immune response and react each time the same food is ingested. Symptoms of an allergy may be mild to moderate and include redness, itching, rash, or breathing problems. And in some cases, ingestion of allergenic foods can be fatal.

The reasons why our grandparents did not have as many allergies as we did

If more and more people suffer from asthma and food allergies, it is our lifestyle that is partly responsible. Indeed, according to Dr. Pierre Hordé, allergist, some factors justify the rise of this health problem:

Eating habits
Not surprisingly, our modern diet contributes to the development of allergies. The consumption of frozen food, industrial products filled with pesticides, additives and food colorants harms our health and forces the body to defend itself against foreign bodies.

Drug treatments
In the past, our ancestors took care of their health by favoring natural treatments. Thus, they treated their ills without having recourse to medicines. Their immune system was then able to defend itself naturally against various viruses and bacteria. Today, the slightest health problem causes some people to ingest medications. This has a sedative effect on the immune system, which is no longer able to act to protect our body from certain infections. Thus, the body is more likely to suffer from various allergies.

Modern housing
Although the industrialization has generated a certain comfort of life and allowed us to implement facilities such as heating or air conditioning, it turns out that it does not understand that benefits. Indeed, the humidity caused by modern housing promotes the development of dust mites, responsible for skin inflammation and allergies.

The domestic animals
More and more people decide to adopt a dog, a cat or a hamster. However, their hairs contain allergens that can cause undesirable symptoms especially in toddlers. In addition, these allergens can persist in the air for several months. Thus, even without having a four-legged companion at home, one can have an allergic reaction by being in a place where there was an animal.

Pollen exposure
Nowadays, the ambient environment contains more and more pollen. Made by the male organs of plants, this substance can irritate the respiratory tract and cause allergic reactions. In addition, global warming, CO2 emissions, humidity and pollution favor the release of pollen. Thus, many people suffer from asthma and allergies due to the proliferation of pollen seeds in the air.