Geriatric Nutrition: Late On-Set Food Allergies

Elderly patients are at higher risk of food allergy due to their aging immune systems.
bigstock-Helper-Serving-Senior-Woman-Wi-92381990-300x200

As individuals age, so do our immune systems. With the significant increase in life expectancy, its projected that by 2050, more than 80 million adults will be aged 65 or older while another 20 million adults will be aged 85 or older. This rapidly growing geriatric population will experience “immunosenescence”, the aging of the immune system.

As a chef specializing in the health & medicine sector, I’ve experienced my fair share of patients and/or clients who’ve experienced the late on-set of food allergies.  Allergies can occur at any time in life.  The symptoms can range from mild to severe.  In some cases health care professionals may not always identify the reported symptoms as potential food allergies. Oftentimes they can be incorrectly mistaken for problems with medication, sleep deprivation, environmental allergies, GI issues, viruses, autoimmune disorders, or simply attributed to general aging effects.

There are 8 foods most commonly responsible for allergic reactions:  milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

7516856_s
Here are some tips to keep an eye out for if you suspect you or someone you love may have a food allergy, as well as some steps to treat it!

SYMPTOMS
Sudden physical reaction; often triggered by only a small amount of food.
Rash, hives, or itchy skin.
Shortness of breath.
Chest pain.
Nausea.
Sudden drop in blood pressure, trouble swallowing or breathing — this is life-threatening. Call 911 immediately.

TREATMENT
Keep a food diary and record symptoms as they occur.
Test different foods for their reaction; called a Food Trial Elimination.
See a doctor for an allergy test. Better to be safe than sorry!

Read more about Treatment & Managing Reactions here.
8375177_s

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s