The symptoms that are present in both medical conditions include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
A team of scientists conducted a new study to determine whether children who are asthmatic also have food allergies, especially to peanuts.
The new study involved more than 1,500 young patients from Mercy Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
After analyzing data from all the children, the researchers found that one in ten patients who suffered from asthma was also allergic to peanuts.
The study also revealed that about 53% of the children who had an asthmatic condition were not aware that they also had a food sensitivity, nor were their families.
Dr. Robert Cohn, a director at Dayton Children’s Hospital and one of the researchers who conducted the study, explained that peanut allergy can often mirror the symptoms of an asthmatic attack.
According to Dr. Cohn, the new study indicates that children who suffer from asthma should also do an allergy test, especially to see if they are allergic to peanuts.
Cohn added that if a doctor or a parent suspects a food allergy in a child who has asthma, they should definitely consider doing an allergy test, even if they are certain that the child is not allergic to peanuts. The child could be sensitive to other food products, said the researchers.
Dr. Samantha Walker, a specialist at Asthma UK, expressed her opinion on this matter, saying that these findings are very difficult to determine, mostly because allergy tests are known to be very unreliable.
Dr. Walker said that although one in 11 people in the United Kingdom are asthmatic, 11 million of these being children, the illness is very complex and is still somewhat of a mystery to the experts.
According to Dr. Walker, many patients who have been diagnosed with peanut allergy can eat peanuts without having any health symptoms, which is why many of the children tested in the new study did not know they were allergic to peanuts.
Young patients who suffer from both asthmatic conditions and food allergies are at an increased risk of having a severe asthma attack, that’s why these children should be kept under strict observation in order to avoid any serious asthma attack.
The findings of the new study were presented during the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference held in Denver, United States.
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