If it seems like food allergies are becoming more common, you'd be right. According to new research in the journal Pediatrics, nearly 8 percent of children under the age of 18 have a food allergy, and a whopping two in five of those sufferers have a severe allergy that can lead to trouble breathing, a sharp drop in blood pressure and even death. Besides kids, you have to look no further than the gluten-free craze to see that food allergies in adults is also a growing issue. So just what is behind all this? There are some theories.
3 Possibilities Why Food Allergy Is on the Rise
1. Genetics. Scientists believe that there is a genetic component to food allergies. So, simply put, as the population grows, so do the number of people with food allergies.
2. We're too clean. Cleanliness is usually a good thing, but according to the researchers, growing up and living in too sterile of an environment doesn't allow our immune system to get the training it needs. Therefore, it has trouble with common everyday foods, making food allergy more prevalent.
3. Pesticides are interfering. Another theory that's gaining in popularity? The pesticides and chemicals on our foods and in our environments are disrupting the natural healthy bacteria in our stomachs and throwing everything out of whack.