Relationship between respiratory and food allergy and evaluation of preventive measures.Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2016 May-Jun; 44(3):263-75.AI
Food allergy and respiratory allergy are two frequently associated diseases and with an increasing prevalence. Several reports show the presence of respiratory symptoms in patients with food allergy, while certain foods may be related to the development or exacerbation of allergic rhinitis and asthma. The present update focuses on this relationship, revealing a pathogenic and clinical association between food and respiratory allergy. This association is even more intense when the food hypersensitivity is persistent or starts in the early years of life. Food allergy usually precedes respiratory allergy and may be a risk factor for allergic rhinitis and asthma, becoming a relevant clinical marker for severe atopic asthma. Furthermore, the presence of co-existing asthma may enhance life-threatening symptoms occurring during a food allergic reaction. Recommendations for dietary restrictions during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent the development of respiratory allergy are controversial and not supported by consistent scientific data. Current recommendations from medical societies propose exclusive breastfeeding during the first four months of life, with the introduction of solid food in the fourth to the seventh month period of life. A delayed introduction of solid food after this period may increase the risk of developing subsequent allergic conditions. Further studies are encouraged to avoid unjustified recommendations involving useless dietary restrictions.