Importance of family and patient education - food allergy, Biology

Define Importance of Family and Patient Education - Food Allergy?

Remember, involvement of the family and all other relevant caretakers along with the patient is crucial for prevention and management of the reactions. The goal of all patient education should be to help patients (and families) take the actions needed to control their symptoms and improve care. Educating the patient about strict avoidance of the foods to which the patient is sensitive is the only proven therapy for food allergy. A child with food allergy must not accept food from classmates or friends.

The child, parents and ALL caregivers need to understand this. Just providing a list of "allowed foods" may not be beneficial as ingredients frequently change. Instead, encourage patients and family members to read labels. Parents must learn to read labels carefully to avoid allergens. Often, the offending food can come in different forms or have a variety of names. For example, a child allergic to milk must avoid whey, a protein found in milk. By law, a food ingredient must be listed on the label, but allergenic components can accidentally get into foods. Children may also be taught how to read food labels and ingredient list. Parents will also need to be watchful when their child is in day care, school, a restaurant, or at parties. Further, with advancement in technology, individuals also need to be aware that a new method of growing produce, called biotechnology, may pose a risk to the allergic child or adult. For example, genetic material from peanuts is being transferred to tomatoes and other produce to develop better-looking (but not necessarily better tasting) produce. In this context, it would be required that new products be labelled to identify common allergens. Therefore, consumption of such genetically modified foods may need more caution.

Posted Date: 6/18/2013 2:59:33 AM | Location : United States

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