Peanut Allergy Kid - Detail - ©

Can Early Antibiotics Trigger Later Allergies?

I’ve often said, in this space, that I can’t understand why there are so many kids with serious allergies these days. When I was little, I didn’t know anyone with any allergy more dangerous than Hay Fever. Now, scientists have proposed a new theory to explain the current allergy epidemic…

Peanut Allergy Kid - © cnn.comFor some kids, a Peanut is as deadly as a bullet. But could the allergy
have been avoided?

When I was little – and my mother confirms this – any kid that presented at the doctor’s office with a sensitivity to some food was prescribed a simple cure: Sensitive to peanuts, you say? Give her a little Peanut Butter every day. And increase the amount gradually. It worked. Today, it’s called Allergy Vaccination and it’s considered a breakthrough in treating food sensitivities.

But this technique only works on some allergies. It’s too dangerous to use on extreme allergies such as Fish or Bee Stings, which can trigger anaphalactic shock in very small amounts. Without immediate injection of epinephrine  and a rush trip to the emergency room, the patient can die.

But now, scientists at the University of South Carolina say they’ve found a link between allergies and antibiotics administered in the first year of life. Kids who received antibiotics during their first yer were found to be significantly more likely yo develop food allergies later in life. The researchers postulate that the antibiotics, which are usually given to get rid if a specific infection, also decimate gut flora – the good bacteria that keep your system ticking along properly. Antibiotics can also weaken your immune system. And aside from the immunities kids get from their mothers while in the womb, they develop immunities to the bad things in the world around them by being exposed to the world. But if you cripple the immune system and the gut flora during that crucial first year, when they are learning about the world, you open the door to problems later on.

Makes sense to me. What do you think?

~ Maggie J.