Prevention & Recovery

Sesame allergies alert

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

Sesame allergies alert

Did you know that products made with sesame cause one of the fastest-growing allergies?

A study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that a reaction to sesame is the third leading cause of anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially fatal allergic reaction, in Israeli children and the fourth leading cause of a reaction (after egg, milk and peanuts) among Australian children.

Products with sesame can be found just about everywhere -- in pharmaceuticals, in cosmetics and in a wide range of popular foods. And it appears to be cross-reactant (if you're allergic to one, you're probably allergic to the other) with a number of tree nuts, including hazelnuts, cashews and macadamia nuts, and products such as rye, kiwifruit and poppy seeds, says Susan Waserman, president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and an associate professor in clinical immunology and allergy at McMaster University in Hamilton.

Even though allergies to sesame may not be as prevalent as those to peanuts "parents must take them seriously," says Waserman. She says susceptible children should be tested (sesame is not part of the routine battery of allergy tests), wear their MedicAlert bracelet and carry an EpiPen, "because this is something we're going to see a lot more of."

Foods with sesame include:
• bagels
• crackers
• sesame oil

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