About 30% of the world’s population suffers from an allergy. Children account for 20% of the population suffering from Spring Allergies and experts say that this number will certainly increase.
Written by Marialma Team
According to the World Health Organization, allergic diseases are on the top 4 chronic diseases that affect the world population. Asthma affects about 334 million people worldwide (according to the Global Asthma Report. Auckland, Global Asthma Network, 2014) and according to the World Health Organization, this number is expected to rise up to 400 million by 2025.
We’ll share with you some interesting references.
A widely discussed hypothesis connects daily hygiene habits to the growth of the number of allergy sufferers. Reports of an increasing number of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) date back to the 1870s from the United States, England, and Germany. On the other hand, the rise of pediatric asthma dates back to the 1970s, and the food allergy epidemic only became evident from 1990 onwards.
The increase in seasonal allergic rhinitis coincides in time with the implementation of basic hygiene measures that began in 1870 and continued to improve until 1920, in the United States and Europe.
These measures included purifying water, using chlorine and differentiating drinking water from other wastes, decreasing food contamination, eradicating helminths with the use of shoes, avoiding swimming in contaminated water, decreasing exposure to rural animals, reducing exposure to bacteria in the soil. To sum it up, there is currently less exposure to microbes.
We take vaccines and antibiotics without even thinking about it and this influences our immune response. Something that previously would not cause a reaction, suddenly it does. It is estimated that children who grew up in rural environments have less predisposition to allergies because they were more exposed to bacteria and have an organic diet. Less exposure to the sun, a diet based on processed foods, and even the rising number of caesarian births are some of the explanations for the growing number of individuals suffering from allergies.
Did you know?
Approximately 200 to 250 million people worldwide have food allergies, one-tenth of the population suffers from drug allergies, 400 million have allergic rhinitis and more than 100 million people suffer from sleep disorders (according to GBD 2015 DALYs and HALE Collaborators). Studies in several countries have attempted to understand what is behind these calculations.
When a child is born from a natural birth, the child acquires bacteria from the mother that will help it build a healthy immune responses. With cesarean birth, the baby acquires bacteria from the hospital itself and the chance of developing allergies increases.
Environmental pollution and harmful habits such as tobacco also play their part.
Allergic reactions can range from simple symptoms of an itchy lip to severe anaphylactic shock. The anaphylactic reaction is a sudden response of the body that requires immediate help to prevent it from being fatal. Children are the age group most vulnerable to allergies because their immune system is still developing. In the first months of life, if they are exposed to microorganisms, they might suffer an infection that will require antibiotics. The heavy and early use of an antibiotic can become a problem because it modifies the development of the individual’s immune system.
Antibiotics affect the bacterial flora and decrease the diversity of our intestinal microbes. Which, especially in children, is associated with increased susceptibility to allergies and inflammatory diseases.
Another factor concerns your baby’s diet and what are the best times to introduce new foods. Generally, the introduction of new foods is made later, but this has led to an increase in allergies. Some doctors encourage breastfeeding for 4 to 6 months and when parents decide to change their diet they should do so in a diversified way.
There should be no restriction in the introduction of new foods according to the child’s ability to ingest them, and one should not stop introducing foods in an attempt to prevent allergies.
In case of respiratory allergies, some studies indicate that the exposure of the child to pets and a more polluted environment makes it much more harmful even in adults.
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