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Allergies in the past

(21 Posts)
NanKate Sun 05-Aug-18 06:50:41

My youngest GS has egg, fish, nut allergies so I am very careful what he eats when visiting. However I was thinking that when I was a child in the 1950s I can’t remember people eating different food from the rest of the family, everyone ate the same meal. There was to my knowledge no gluten or dairy free alternatives, so how did people with allergies cope ?

Baggs Sun 05-Aug-18 06:56:42

Perhaps people with severe allergies just didn't survive in the past. There is also talk of an increase in childhood allergies nowadays. I don't think the reasons for that are fully understood yet.

Jane10 Sun 05-Aug-18 07:32:57

I was apparently severely allergic to tomatoes and strawberries when I was very young. I used to go all red with swollen lips and wheeze. However, I grew out of it. I wonder if that's what happened then or could happen now? I just don't know.

BlueBelle Sun 05-Aug-18 07:35:42

Modern living is very different to 40 s 50s 60 s think of all the chemicals in the air we only used disinfectant, and wax polish and bleach for cleaning now there are sprays, smelly stuff and cleaning fluids in every corner of every room plug ins pumping out something even for pets There is fast food and prepacked food at every turn we and babies drink out of plastic (unknown what that does) our babies had glass bottles. microwaves are they a danger or not? The fumes from aeroplanes, cars, factories have increased hundredfold, even insignificant things like toothpaste is full of chemicals the water we drink has additives we have little control over fruit and veg which is covered in insecticides etc etc we can wash them for sure but does that remove the poisons?
We have no idea what is being done to our immune systems and I don’t think there is any mystery as to why we all have compromised bodies now

travelsafar Sun 05-Aug-18 07:52:21

BlueBelle WOW It makes you wonder how mankind survived prior to all these chemicals in our homes, food and around us generally, your listing of everything makes scary but such sensible reading. I must admit to making a determined effort to cut down on the amount of cleaning products i buy these days, apart from the cost, half of them are uneccessary and down to people being hoodwinked into thinking it makes everything cleaner when all that is needed is hot water and elbow grease!!! lol

Marydoll Sun 05-Aug-18 07:52:22

Nearly forty years ago, my son went into anaphylactic shock after eating a monkey nut, he had been given a Beavers, the evening before.
Fortunately, a friend of mine, a GP saved his life by giving him adrenalin.
Hours later he had a secondary reaction and the doctor he saw, dismissed the idea of a nut allergy as "nonsense!" He had never heard of it.
Years later, he suffered a second episode in an operating theatre, his heart stopped, as he had a reaction to the general anaesthetic.
He had to carry an Epipen, which wasn't available in this country and had to. be sourced from the USA at great expense. It was very difficult. My family were all afraid to look after him, in case anything happened. My husband and I never got to any functions or nights out (I'm not complaining, just trying to demonstrate how difficult it was)
Thank God times have changed.
He is now a big strapping 6 footer.😀

kittylester Sun 05-Aug-18 08:02:04

I think baggs has hit the nail on the head.

I think I remember someone at school with me who couldn't eat bread but that's all and I know there is a theory that mass production of white bread has had a bearing on the incidence of gluten intolerance.

Dd2 was allergic to some tinned fish and was really proud to be put on the 'allergic' table for school lunches. grin

Eglantine21 Sun 05-Aug-18 08:08:11

There were always children who were labelled “failure to thrive” who were constantly ill and ailing for no apparent reason, even in very wealthy families.
I wonder if some of them actually were gluten or dairy intolerant.
The very things that would have been given to build them up!

NanKate Sun 05-Aug-18 08:31:53

Marydoll so pleased your boy is in fine fettle now. Our youngest GS has an epipen I have read how to use it but not seen a demo, so I will go straight to YouTube and have a look in a case I ever have to use it. Thanks for the reminder.

Humbertbear Sun 05-Aug-18 08:37:31

As a child I often had excruciating headaches but no one ever made the connection. I am, in fact, allergic to eggs which give me migraines. In the fifties we were brought up to ‘eat what is on your plate’ and I did. Similarly, I thought everyone felt ill after eating fish. When I met my husband and discovered he, in fact, enjoyed eating fish I stopped.

Eglantine21 Sun 05-Aug-18 08:42:43

Yes, funny what you accept as “normal” isn’t it *Humbertbear”. I had a misaligned jaw, but it wasnt until I was in my thirties that I realised not everybody’s jaw hurt when they chewed.

I thought it was natures way of stopping you from eating too much!

TwiceAsNice Sun 05-Aug-18 08:53:42

Peanuts gave me migraine when Iwas a child/ adolescent but I outgrew the allergy and can eat them now. Similarly DGD was allergic to tomatoes when a toddler but quickly outgrew it, thank goodness pasta with tomato sauce is her favourite food. DD2 was allergic to any kind of red colouring so could not eat things like jelly or red sweets or most antibiotics because children's versions were pink flavoured. She had only junior disprove instead of Calpol because it was banana flavoured and there only one antibiotic she could take for the same reason, all outgrown before adult hood. Obviously more serious reactions stay but it's very worrying at the time.

TwiceAsNice Sun 05-Aug-18 08:54:25

Disprol not disprove

Squiffy Sun 05-Aug-18 11:57:30

I agree with you BlueBelle.

Our bodies are bombarded with chemicals on a daily basis. There must come a point when some people reach the point of overload.

Wheat has been so manipulated through various breeding techniques that it bears little resemblance to the wheat of years ago. I’m sure that could have had an effect on some people.

Fennel Sun 05-Aug-18 12:15:02

Jane10 I had that allergy too as a child, but not now.
I'd been to friend's ?10th birthday in June and they gave us a lovely tea. Her Dad went river fishing and caught a salmon, then we had strawberries and cream. Then went to the cinema to see Snow White.While there I felt my hands and face itching. It was nettle rash (hives. )
But I can eat strawberries now, no problem.

Eilyann70 Sun 05-Aug-18 13:47:58

DD3 was allergic to eggs when a baby - consequently her first birthday cake was an eggless devil's food cake! It was delicious! She grew out of it.

SueDonim Sun 05-Aug-18 14:21:02

One of my sons has had a number of allergies since he was small, 35+ years ago.

My sister was allergic to penicillin when she was a child, which was way back in the 1950's. In a medical emergency she had not long ago, she was given penicillin, due to miscommunication. She had no adverse reaction at all, so it seems that in her 70's, she has finally 'outgrown' her allergy!

Rregarding peanuts, I was interested to learn from my dd, who has a baby, that it's now recommend that peanut butter and eggs are introduced to babies from six months, as it's believed that not being exposed to such substances from a young age could lie behind later allergies.

It's such an interesting topic.

lemongrove Sun 05-Aug-18 14:37:17

I think some people mean the word intolerance rather than allergy when talking about certain foods.
I don’t remember anyone having allergies either ( in childhood) but there would always be certain ones , am guessing nuts, which could be fatal.
Am not sure about chemicals nowadays, as there were far worse ones then, DDT for a start.

grannysyb Sun 05-Aug-18 14:53:34

I have a friend who is a ceoliac in her 70s who had a sensible GP when she was small who realised that gluten was making her unwell so she went on a gf diet. It was called failure to thrive in those days. I wonder how many died because of the lack of knowledge?

Jane10 Sun 05-Aug-18 14:56:15

Gosh I wonder if I've outgrown my penicillin allergy. I don't want to test that though!

MiniMoon Sun 05-Aug-18 17:39:07

When my DGD was a few days old she had a staphylococcal skin infection, given to her in hospital just after she was born by one of the staff! She had to have intravenous antibiotics to fight it. She was only about two weeks old.
When she started weaning my DD gave her some scrambled egg as advised by the health visitor. She had a severe reaction to it. Since then she has had allergies to eggs, nuts, and shellfish, she is also asthmatic. My DD believes that the iv antibiotics she had as a baby wiped her immune system, and it has taken until now to recover. She can eat most things now, but still doesn't care for cake. She is 11 years old.