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Parents place children on high-risk exclusion diets because they mistakenly believe they can beat allergies

Parents place children on high-risk exclusion diets because they mistakenly believe they can beat allergies

  • Experts blame allergy tests claiming to defeat conditions by avoiding food
  • Following this advice could lead to nutritional deficiencies, it has been claimed
  • Parents can even cause an allergy by excluding food groups from their child’s diet

Parents put children on high-risk exclusion diets in the mistaken belief that they can beat allergies, experts warn.

Researchers blame fake allergy tests claiming that childhood eczema and asthma can be overcome by avoiding foods like tomatoes, strawberries and milk.

Experts say following this advice can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and avoiding dairy products can cause irreversible bone growth problems, as children lack essential calcium.

By excluding food groups from a child’s diet, anxious parents can even trigger an allergy, dermatologists warned.

They emphasized that private food allergy tests sold online say they promote unhealthy and potentially dangerous diets and do not meet NHS standards.

Parents put children on high-risk exclusion diets in the mistaken belief that they can beat allergies, experts warn. Picture: stock picture

Parents put children on high-risk exclusion diets in the mistaken belief that they can beat allergies, experts warn. Picture: stock picture

These tests have skyrocketed in popularity – especially those for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Two studies presented this month at the annual conference of the British Association of Dermatologists examined 18 online companies and found that many did not use laboratories with ‘relevant accreditation’, and ‘the type of tests used are often lacking scientific evidence to support its use ‘.

This means the results may not be accurate, or worse, produce false-positive test results, they said.

They opted for so-called IgG tests, which have no scientific basis for food intolerance, and unproven ‘bio-resonance’ tests of hair samples to identify potential sensitivities.

Only one company asked for a patient’s clinical history and had the results reviewed by a doctor.

Dr. Alice Plant, a dermatologist with the NHS Trust of Portsmouth Hospitals University, said: “Patients with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are eager to understand their personal triggers to get their condition under control.

Researchers blame fake allergy tests claiming that childhood eczema and asthma can be overcome by avoiding foods like tomatoes, strawberries and milk. Picture: stock picture

Researchers blame fake allergy tests claiming that childhood eczema and asthma can be overcome by avoiding foods like tomatoes, strawberries and milk. Picture: stock picture

Researchers blame fake allergy tests claiming that childhood eczema and asthma can be overcome by avoiding foods like tomatoes, strawberries and milk. Picture: stock picture

Parents often ask if certain foods can cause their child’s eczema.

But allergy test results require careful interpretation in the context of the patient’s clinical history by a skilled professional.

There is a lack of evidence to suggest that certain foods cause eczema, and we would encourage people to continue with treatments prescribed by their doctors rather than eliminating foods without discussing this with a medical professional.

‘In children, unnecessary dietary exclusions can even cause a real allergy.’

Holly Barber, spokesman for the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “Anyone who suspects they have an allergy should see their primary care physician as allergy testing is available from the NHS.

“No need to spend money on a private test.”

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