Monday, January 19, 2009

Stop the March, I Want to Get Off

I was talking to a friends sister the other day, and the topic came up as to whether her 2 year old food allergic child was going to have asthma. I asked her if her son was on the Allergy March. She looked confused, and stated she had never heard of such a march. I tried to explain it to her, but made a terrible attempt at organized thought.

I had first learned of the "Allergy March" upon visiting our first good allergist (not our first allergist though - evil Dr. story I am still angry about). I was saying how I was concerned he might have asthma, as we ended up on albuteral every cold, but all his Dr.s were saying no. The Great Allergist asked me a few questions about eczema, prior illnesses, and his food allergies, and told me in a way only he could. "I can not diagnose anything officially right now because he does not have any symptoms, but between you and me and the doorknob, I am sure he has asthma". I was relieved as I had a feeling and said, "I thought I was crazy, but I had a feeling he did." The Cool Allergist replied, "You may very well be crazy, but you are not crazy to think he has asthma." He then went on to explain the Allergy March. (Also known as the Atopy March)

Below are some articles and resources that explain it far better then I ever could. Click on the links for the complete articles.

Is it

Allergic sensitivities may affect not only a child’s symptoms today, but also his or her long-term health. In the small child, elevated food-specific IgE antibody levels are associated with significantly elevated risk of developing inhalant allergen sensitivities later in childhood.1 Ultimately, asthma may result from a cascade of atopic illnesses known as the pediatric Allergy March. In the Allergy March, symptoms manifest from low-level food and/or inhalant sensitivities and can trigger a progression of diseases from atopic dermatitis to gastrointestinal distress, recurrent otitis media, allergic rhinitis, and ultimately asthma—often by the age of 3 to 4 years.2,3 Although atopic illness often follows the common progression of the “march,” allergic sensitivities may emerge with symptoms of any one of the five conditions—and may involve more than one allergic illness at a given time.

Science Blog

Unfortunately, there can also be unpleasant milestones, such as allergic diseases occurring at a specific age range. These include eczema shortly after birth, gastrointestinal diseases as the child approaches age two, and asthma and other upper respiratory diseases starting at age three and lasting through young adulthood. This is the "Allergy March."

The Atopic March

The atopic march refers to the natural history of allergic
or atopic manifestations characterised by a typical
sequence of clinical symptoms and conditions appear-
ing during a certain age period and persisting over a
number of years. Characteristic of the clinical signs is
that some features become more prominent with time
whereas others diminish or disappear completely.
In general the clinical features of atopic eczema occur first
and precede the development of asthma and allergic

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