Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A little knowledge

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing:

Where do we start? This gentleman, writing in a respectable British newspaper, has gastrointestinal symptoms and decides to be tested for "food allergy". How many allergies are marked purely by gastro-symptoms? Maybe cow's milk in children.

He then discovers he is not allergic to anything - having been told he could test for wheat by giving it up. He then rants on about "true immune-mediated" allergies, clearly recycling some highly condensed notes and quotes - moving allergy in one stroke from gastro-intestinal symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Is there nothing in between, Dan? No mention of asthma, eczema, urticaria (hives to you), chronic rhinusitis (that's hay fever) let alone the chronic inflammatory conditions that are so badly diagnosed?

And it all concludes with some nonsense, apparently endorsed by an Allergy UK spokesperson, suggesting that we mostly eat too much wheat and dairy. Try living on bananas, fish and cabbage, I say.

Most of the comments are equally disturbing. Maybe it's just because the British are obsessed with their bowels.

* I was interested to see the main source is the London Allergy Clinic, about which I had heard little previously.  I'm amazed that when the NHS is so short of specialists they have the time to run a presumably lucrative joint private practice. I'd be interested to know if they provide effective on-going care for patients - or simply take fees for diagnosis.


PS My judgement may be a little harsh as originally it was gastro symptoms that alerted me to a possible problem. The second alert was when I started choking on my food. But it took me a while to relate it to a life-time of minor skin problems and the very disturbing ache in my left eye (which puzzled my optician). And I only dared go to the doctor when my tongue and lips started swelling.

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