A recent article in the Chicago Tribunesheds new light on the relationship between eczema and food allergies. The article suggests that parents may unnecessarily rely on often-inaccurate food allergy tests to modify their child’s diet.
The Chicago Tribune reports that most children who suffer from eczema do not have food allergies. In fact, allergenic foods, such as nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, fish and soy, are believed to trigger eczema flare-ups in only about one-third of eczema sufferers. However, doctors are noticing an increase in food-elimination diets in patients, many of which doctors believe are unnecessary.
A recent study conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics warns that restricting a child’s diet out of fear of food allergies and eczema flare-ups may lead to other health issues. According to David Fleischer, an assistant professor of pediatric at National Jewish Health in Denver, doctors are “seeing a growing number of patients placed on strict, unproven food-elimination diets that have led to poor weight gain and malnutrition.”
Dr. Fleischer believes that these unnecessary restrictive diets may be partly due to “overreliance on immunoassay (blood) tests.” Patients often rely on blood and skin tests to determine food allergies. However, according to doctors, these tests can result in false positives and overreaction by parents.
“You can’t just depend on a blood test to guide therapy,” said Dr. Bill Berger, a professor of allergy and immunology at the University of California at Irvine. “There is a difference between showing clinical sensitivity on a test as opposed to an allergic reaction.”
We want to know your thoughts: Have you restricted your diet or your child’s diet based on food allergy tests and have you seen an improvement or decrease in eczema flare-ups as a result?
Read more here: Food allergies not tied to eczema for most