The emotional effects of allergy

Please click on the links below to read our articles. If you are interested in research findings, click here for links to research reports.

Nocebo Response & Food Sensitivity – Dietitian Wendy Busse explains. September 2019

What is Orthorexia? Dieititan and food sensitivity specialist Wendy Busse explains. June 2018

Allergies and anxiety - a parent's perspective. June 2018

Children’s Allergy Psychology Service moves into charity run boutique hotel on Lambeth Palace Road! August 2017

Children's Allergy Service at Guy's and St Thomas' Hosptial appoints clinical psychologist Dr Polly James – the first allergy service to include psychological help in the range of service that they offer their allergic patients. March 2016

Dramatic improvements in mood and anxiety, weight and digestive symptoms with a 4-week gut-friendly diet. Kate Lawrence explains more about her recent research findings. June 2017

Mel Fenson explores the effects of food allergy on children - and how parents and schools can help. January 2014

In an exclusive extract from his book, Coeliac Disease: what you need to know, Alex Gazzola explores how you can use self-help techniques to manage the condition and its consequences. January 2014

Emotional coping strategies for parents of allergic children from Linda Herbert, clinical psychologist in the Department of Allergy and Immunology at Children's National Medical Center in Washington – on the FARE blog. December 2013

Emotional and behavioural aspects of food allergy and food intolerance. Harry Morrow Brown explores some interesting case studies. December 2011

Is stress making your food intolerance worse? Eve Menezes Cunningham offers some NLP and coaching tips - to help you relax. November 2011

Practicing positive activities to alleviate depression – courtesy of Latitudes. The psychological effect of suffering from an allergy or a food related illness is often overlooked but can add significantly to the suffering of the individual. July 2011

Anaphylaxis and anxiety. An article from FAAN. 2006

The emotional impact of food allergy in children and teenagers. April 2004


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Research Reports

Food allergy induces alteration in brain inflammatory status and cognitive impairments Jan 2018

For a number of years, evidence has been accumulating to suggest an increase in behavioural and emotional difficulties in children with food allergies. This study reports a potential mechanism for this by identifying that antigen-specific immunoglobulins and mast cell markers in the brain are increased in patients with food allergy. Moreover these brain specific allergy responses were associated with motor and learning deficits, suggesting a plausible mechanism by which allergy can contribute to cognitive symptoms.

Oral food challenges reduce stress and improve Quality of Life among parents who believe their children have allergies but when those children have not undergone allergy tests. August 2017
Another study looking at quality of life in parents of children with food allergies. Food allergy was unsurprisingly found to put parents under a high degree of stress. In terms of dealing with this, it was found that parents of children who had undergone an oral-food challenge were found to be significantly less stressed.

An update on the impact of food allergy on anxiety and quality of life. May 2017
This US-based study reports that ‘living with food allergy is associated with annual economic costs in excess of $4000 per child, in addition to risks of anxiety and depressive symptoms.’ Clinicians need to be aware of the significant burden and stress that living with food allergies places on individuals with food allergies and their families.

Dramatic improvements in mood and anxiety, weight and digestive symptoms with a 4-week gut-friendly diet. June 2017

The emotional, social, and financial burden of food allergies on children and their families. March 2017
This article reviews research looking at the emotional, social, and financial impact of food allergy on children and their families. The significant impact on children and families in each of these areas suggests that a multidisciplinary approach is critical to helping families cope with the multitude of issues that can result from food allergies.

Stress influences childhood allergy. February 2012

Fewer allergies in unstressed babies. December 2011

Food allergies in childhood cause anxiety and loneliness. February 2011.

Anxiety amongst parents of nut-allergic children is reduced by food challenges. August 2009

NB Information on this site is not a substitute for medical advice and no liability can be assumed for its use.

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