Is there a way to derail the children's 'Allergy March'?

is often pre-determined by one's genetic makeup. Childhood atopy is the genetically-determined state of hypersensitivity to environmental allergens. Type I allergic reactions are associated with the IgE antibody and a group of diseases, principally asthma, hay fever and atopic dermatitis. The condition is characterized by a noted increase in IgE levels. The good news is that the s-IgE test is available to identify the atopic child, enabling the development of a treatment plan.

Age and the Allergy March

As children develop, so to can the likelihood of common childhood diseases related to atopy. For example, eczema is most likely to occur between birth and three months of age; gastrointestinal distress is most prevalent during the second year; upper respiratory distress generally manifests itself between ages three and seven; and asthma's onset is most likely to occur when a youngster is between 7-15 years old.

Diseases in the Early Years

The most common diseases requiring treatment include:

Eczema: Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic itch that develops into a rash. Allergy commonly underlies itch, with 30 percent of all skin disorder cases in toddlers being allergy-induced eczema. Research has established a link between IgE and food allergen-induced atopic dermatitis with food allergy the root cause in one-third to one-half of all childhood cases. This is not surprising, given hidden ingredients in commercial foods, the presence of preservatives and stabilizers, as well as artificial colors and flavors and the early introduction of solid foods to infants.

The symptoms are intense itching and skin cutaneous reactivity, and a spreading of rash-like symptoms. This condition can also be caused by immunodeficiency, metabolic disease, neoplastic disease, infection and infestation, and dermatitis. However, at the first sign of these symptoms, the specific IgE blood test is appropriate

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Association for Clinical Chemistry

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