Daily Mail: Rising number of children allergic to fruit and veg *

Daily Mail
16.04.2009
By Daniel Martin

‘The tiniest piece of celery can leave me gasping for breath’: Rising number of children allergic to fruit and veg

Allergy UK believes 40 per cent of adults now have allergies - up from 15 per cent in the 1990s. The number of children with food allergies has tripled in a decade.

Soaring numbers of children are being diagnosed with allergies to fruit and vegetables.

Doctors have seen the numbers rise by as much as five times in some areas of the country, putting children at risk of asthma.

Experts fear the rising tide of intolerance to fruit and veg

Brothers Jack, right, and Jerome Harrison can’t eat most fruit as it gives them an allergic reaction

Symptoms of the new phenomenon - known as ‘oral allergy syndrome’ - include swelling in the mouth and throat, which in the worst cases can lead to severe breathing difficulties.

because fruit and veg are consumed all year round, the effect is more debilitating.

Dr Pamela Ewan, an allergy consultant at Addenbroke’s Hospital in Cambridge, said cases or oral allergies to fruit and veg were rising, particularly among children.

‘We have seen a big rise in the number of cases in the past four to five years,’ she said.

‘I think fruit and vegetables are becoming the epidemic now. In terms of numbers, fruit and vegetables are the new form of peanut allergy.’

She added: ‘Early on when we first picked is up, it was passed off as not being serious. It began with fairly mild itching in the mouth.

‘But now we are seeing people who are getting really severe throat closure, a significant swelling at the back of the throat which can impede breathing.’

Muriel Simmons, chief executive of the charity Allergy UK, said: ‘What is happening is that people who have hay fever also react to fruit and vegetable items.

‘GPs are certainly seeing more of these cases, but too often they don’t understand what it is and dismiss it. If they do, the allergy can lead to asthma if it is ignored.’

Allergy UK believes 40 per cent of adults now have allergies - up from 15 per cent in the 1990s. The number of children with food allergies has tripled in a decade.

and warn the number of sufferers is sure to rise

those allergic to certain pollens will not always be allergic to associated fruit.

Dr Adam Fox, a consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said: ‘We are certainly seeing lots of oral allergy syndrome.

‘Normally we would see this among young adults as they start to develop hay fever but we are starting to see more of it among young children. As there is more allergy, the severity seems to be increasing and the patterns are changing.’

Schoolboy Jack Harrison is allergic to most types of fruit. A banana can bring him out in a rash.

And even the tiniest piece of celery in a salad can leave him gasping for breath.

‘I can eat some types of apples, as well as blackberries and raspberries - but beyond that I can’t eat any of the fruits most people eat: oranges, pears, bananas, most type of apples,’ said the 15-year-old from Wymondham in Norfolk.

Both Jack and his seven-year-old brother Jerome suffer from fruit allergies. Their intolerance is linked to pollen from birch trees.

‘There are times when it is so annoying and you wish you could eat what everyone else can,’ says Jack. ‘If someone has a banana or something I think - yeah that’d be nice.

It’s difficult because it makes it much harder to get my five a day. I have to work hard to get just two or three.’

Their mother Margaret says the allergies make life more complicated - and more expensive.

‘The anxiety is they’re not getting enough nutrients. They can’t have school dinners, and I have to supply food if they go to someone’s birthday party.  If they eat out they can have a baked potato - and that’s about it. Celery is lethal so you can’t just pick what you want out of the salad bar.

The allergies first became apparent when Jack was as young as 18 months, but it was not until he was 10 that the full list of problematic foods became apparent.

Comments from the Daily Mail’s website:

Our bodies are certifiable toxic waste. within an environment riddled with tens of thousands of new chemicals. most poorly understood in terms of interaction in our bodies and the environment. We still have the natural suspects (mercury, lead, etc.). And most susceptible to damage is the growing fetus. The wonder is that anyone is still healthy.

Add to the above genetically modified food, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormone mimicking materials, junk food, aspartame, fluoride, human caused radiation, electromagnetic pollution, chemtrails spewing out unknown crap, antibiotic over use, suspect pharmaceutical ‘help’ for all that ails you, and air to breathe that’s significantly vehicle exhaust, and again, amazing some of us guinea pigs are still bouncing along.

- Robert Snefjella, Hastings county, Canada

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