Lanser said the high cost of treating milk allergies is likely related to the high price of milk substitutes, particularly alternative baby formulas. Neither the researchers nor the experts, however, could explain the wide variation in the cost of treating anaphylaxis among food allergies.
Gelburd said the report aims to identify trends in food allergies that could inspire other studies and discoveries. "We never want our data study to be the end of a conversation," Gelburd said. "Rather, we would want it to be the beginning of a conversation that adds greater understanding to an area."
Today, Lynda Mitchell is acting chief executive officer of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a patient advocacy group for people with asthma and allergies.
True to tradition, with her son in mind, she prepares meals without milk. She searches for a turkey that has not been injected with a solution that could have a milk base. She makes mashed potatoes with chicken stock and margarine but no milk or cream. And she makes her dairy-free pumpkin pie.
"As a parent of a child with a food allergy -- especially a young child -- you just always have to be surveying the landscape and having that vision going in your head about whether this is going to be a high-risk situation or not," she said. "And it's worth it. But it's just something that parents of children that have food allergies have to do every day."
(Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.)
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