Why are so many kids allergic to peanuts now? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our generation grew up on pb&j. We eat lots and lots of peanut butter in our house. I never heard of severe allergies to peanuts and peanut butter until recently. Why is this happening? Is it preventable? Does anybody know?
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#2 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 12:32 PM
 
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My personal theory, which is, of course, just a theory, is that kids are exposed to so much more peanut stuff. Not just PB, but other things processed near nuts. When we were kids we ate lots more whole foods. The choices for processed stuff was more limited 10/20/30 years ago.

Look at a box of graham crackers, even all natural stuff. Most of it has been processed in aplant that also processes peanuts. Those tiny aprticles begin allergic reqactions in small children whose parents might not even realize there is an allergy issue.
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#3 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 12:47 PM
 
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Perhaps our immune systems also have something to do with it. No doubt people’s immune systems are taxed these days, they don’t function the way they should because of all the chemicals we are exposed to.

Just my theory. I do think there are other reasons that contribute though.

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#4 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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I've thought about this, too. There are cultures in which nuts are a traditional part of their cooking (Chinese, Indian, Middle-Eastern, etc). I wonder if they've also seen a rise in peanut or other nut allergies, or if there is something else in the Western world (environmental toxins, eating processeed foods, etc.) that are making peanuts a problem.

I'll be interested to hear what theories are out there. . .
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#5 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 12:55 PM
 
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here's some theories

http://www.lifeworkpotential.com/doc...cles/art09.htm

here's an article from a local newspaper in my area, where the school district had to stop serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily...4/a01lo909.htm

And finally, while it is a fact that allergies are on the rise, as a former nanny and daycare worker, I must point out that there are actually parents (especially mothers) who WANT their chld to be allergic to something to make them "special and different". I have seen people violently insist that their chlidren are allergic to substances such as lactose, peanuts, chocolate, and oranges, despite CLEAR evidence to the contrary. So as allergies rise, so do hypochondriacs and weirdos! lol

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#6 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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Too many immunizations wonk up their developing immune systems.
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#7 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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I am 39 years old and my sister is 34. We have both been allergic to peanuts all of our lives. I wonder if we are one of the first generation of peanut allergy suffers because I have run into very few people in my age group that also have this problem. Our parents also could never figure out why my sister and I hated p-butter so much when we were little. looking back, I now realize that it was pretty much unheard of in our day.
My parents ate alot of peanut products before and after we were born. Did we get over-exposed?
My boyz don't seem to have an allergic reaction to peanuts. I did not feed them any peanut products until they were at least 3 yrs old and before that and still they still do not get alot of direct exposer to peanut product. We've always had p-butter in the house because my husband and stepdaughters like it. I give the boyz almond butter and jelly sandwich's instead.
I am also allergic to walnuts, pecans. salmon, walleye, northern and trout. Probably more fish, but i'm not about to find out.
My sister is also allergic to the above (I think) and soybeans, legums and other beans. (Gee, I quess she couldn't be a vegetarian, where would she get her protein).

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#8 of 20 Old 03-26-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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I have wondered about this too. My first boyfriend in college (he's about 32 now) was allergic to peanuts and that was the first I had ever heard of such an allergy. Now, it seems like every 10th person I meet is allergic to peanuts, and that's a really serious allergy! Our local school system is just figuring this out and has just eliminated all peanut products from the school (but kids can still bring their own peanuts in their lunches, but the school just can't sell peanut products).

My theory is the same as Hayes' - that peanut residue, peanut oil, peanuts, etc are just sooo hard to avoid in today's overly processed foods, and maybe it's that much easier to be overexposed. I wondered while pregnant about eating peanuts- but the midwives and resources I could find didn't know anything about it, so I ate peanuts, and I am not giving DS any peanut "contaminated" foods until he's at least 3, and we'll just hope for the best...

Very scary.

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#9 of 20 Old 03-28-2005, 01:57 PM
 
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why does it always seem to be peanuts? my ds can eat other nuts, just not peanuts. why?

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#10 of 20 Old 03-28-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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I'm no expert, but I believe that peanuts aren't actually nuts. (I think they're legumes, like soybeans and peas).

Vegan, mom to : Joe and Josh ::
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#11 of 20 Old 03-28-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
here's some theories

http://www.lifeworkpotential.com/doc...cles/art09.htm

here's an article from a local newspaper in my area, where the school district had to stop serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily...4/a01lo909.htm

And finally, while it is a fact that allergies are on the rise, as a former nanny and daycare worker, I must point out that there are actually parents (especially mothers) who WANT their chld to be allergic to something to make them "special and different". I have seen people violently insist that their chlidren are allergic to substances such as lactose, peanuts, chocolate, and oranges, despite CLEAR evidence to the contrary. So as allergies rise, so do hypochondriacs and weirdos! lol


Good God almighty! Why would anyone want an allergic kid! It is beyond stressful, and my dd isn't as severe as some!
I'm not discounting your statement, I'm just shocked that people would do such a thing!
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#12 of 20 Old 03-28-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athansor
I'm no expert, but I believe that peanuts aren't actually nuts. (I think they're legumes, like soybeans and peas).

you are correct, they are legumes
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#13 of 20 Old 03-28-2005, 03:13 PM
 
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I've heard (but have not substantiated) that the peanuts are different now. The growers have gone with more convenient strains (in terms of disease resistance, etc.), that are causing people many more problems today than before.
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#14 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 12:32 PM
 
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I read a connection to soy formula and peanut allergies. Apparently a lot of people just go to soy formula instead of trying the dairy type. That could be why the rise. Perhaps their systems could not digest the soy formula yet.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 12:59 PM
 
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well I am also questioning the rise in allergies in general. ds # 7 is the first one in our family who is allergic to peanuts and he is also highly allrgic to soy ( yes there is a connection between peanuts and soy)I did eat alot of peanut butter while pregnant but it was always the organic one and ds has had no vaccines ! I also consumed quite abit of soy thinking it was very healthy but now we have no soy products at home. I always thought dairy to be the "evil" one but as long as its organic and hormone free and you are not allergic to it it's not so bad.I guess everything in moderation.
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#16 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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Oh goodness! I avoided peanuts when pregnant and nursing Ds. This time my Midwives say to definitely eat peanut butter for the protein and just avoid when nursing. Yikes!!
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#17 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicmama
Good God almighty! Why would anyone want an allergic kid! It is beyond stressful, and my dd isn't as severe as some!
I'm not discounting your statement, I'm just shocked that people would do such a thing!
I totally agree! How ungrateful it is to wish for your child to be anything but perfectly healthy!

And yet, I worked for a family where this was exactly the case. The children were allergic to NOTHING. The mother insisted that they were allergic to peanuts and oranges.
The nanny they had before me who spoke very little English, either didn't understand her or didn't care or believe her, because she would consistently feed the children oranges and clementines! and they never once had an adverse reaction, and the mother knew this.

Yet, because the oldest one once had a fever after consuming an orange, she insisted both children were allergic to oranges. My mother, who is a pediatrician and their neighbor, spoke to the woman and informed her that a fever would not be the allergic response to an orange allergy, and similarly one episode of diarrhea in the oldest child after eating peanut butter did not qualify as a peanut allergy. But, she didn't care. She needed her kids to have special limitations and problems. VERY weird.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#18 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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My vote is that there are a variety of factors causing allergies, especially vaccination, and overuse of antibiotics and drugs like tylenol. The whole hygeine theory that we're too clean, so our bodies are looking for things to fight off. Over expose to peanuts as suggested earlier- there's a good thing to attack. Throw a genetic presdisposition in there. Just my theories, and I've been learning again and again, I really don't know anything.

We have one kid allergic to peanuts, eggs, soy, citrus, strawberries, and peas. Possibly fish. Plus all the enviromental stuff that bothers her. We wish so much that she wasn't. I know people think I'm crazy, wonder if she's really that allergic, but when they've seen her all broken out, (she gets eczema when exposed- thank goodness it's not lifethreatening,) they don't doubt anymore.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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The fields in front of my house are sown with corn, soy, cotton and peanuts. Rotated on a four year cycle.

I know the cotton is GM and round-up ready. Peanuts are really not that healthy anyway. By the time you get them, most are rancid. I think it is a combination of factors.

Ohh and one anecdotal case of a mother inventing allergies hardly means a rise in hypochondria. I think that would be Maunchausen by Proxy wouldn't it???
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#20 of 20 Old 03-29-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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ITA- but it's not just one. That's the easiest/craziest example I have but I was a nanny and daycare worker for nine years and I've seen it more than a few times, especially in the upper middle-class families who send their children to private schools.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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