4, said that 19 percent of adults think they are food allergic, compared to the 10 percent of those who actually have a diagnososed allergy, which is over 26 million people in the country.
However, the Northwestern University and Lurie Children's Hospital researchers found that only about a quarter of people who actually had an allergy had a current epinephrine prescription.
One in five adults in the USA think they have a food allergy, but only one in 10 do, a study has revealed.
The study, "Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults", was published online in JAMA. Food Allergy Food allergy is a potentially life-threatening condition that can adversely affect a person's health and well-being.
Dr. Wayne Shreffler, a medical advisor to the non-profit Food Allergy Research & Education, agreed.More news: Rio Tinto’s (RIO) "Buy" Rating Reaffirmed at UBS Group
"There may be an increase within adults for certain foods but since we do think we saw an increase in children and perhaps less allergy resolution, these children will become allergic adults further increasing the numbers affected", Sicherer said. "If they have a bad reaction to food, they'll just avoid it". "It is important to see a physician for appropriate testing and diagnosis before completely eliminating foods from the diet". "Almost half of the people who thought they had food allergies in this study did not".
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 4% and 6% of American children are affected by food allergies.
Unlike allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system. They arise from an issue in the digestive system - like an enzyme deficiency - that makes it hard to break down a particular food.
"But hopefully, in this year, we will have new treatments, and within the next couple of years, we'll have multiple therapies for multiple food allergies", Gupta said. That occurs when someone with a pollen allergy has a reaction to a food with proteins similar to pollen - usually a raw fruit or vegetable.
That type of reaction is not life-threatening, and people may be able to avert it by simply cooking the offending produce, Gupta said.
Among all convincing food allergies reported by participants, just 47.5% (95% CI: 45.8-49.3) were physician diagnosed. Similarly, shellfish allergy symptoms are hives, itching or eczema, swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing and trouble breathing and vomiting, diarrhea or nausea.More news: Time for Christmas decorations to be taken down
Among people with true allergies, shellfish was the most common culprit: An estimated 3 percent of adults were allergic to shellfish. Milk allergy (1.9 percent) and peanut allergy (1.8 percent) were next in line. Many people had more than one food allergy, the findings showed.
Adults' reticence to seek out a food allergy diagnosis, as well as physicians' failures to seek out adult-onset food allergies diagnoses, may also be due to the now lacking therapy options.
Experts need to determine how to predict adult-onset food allergies, she said.
Shreffler agreed, calling the finding "striking". But in some cases, he said, it may be a matter of exposure. The researchers were able to attribute about half of these participants' symptoms to intolerances or other food-related conditions, meaning 10.8% of United States adults struggle with food allergies.
Going to see your family doctor or an allergist for an initial consultation is important, Gupta said.More news: Rays announce plan to reduce seating at Tropicana Field