What is good for allergies while pregnant
Researchers searched for studies that looked at the effects of milk feeding (including breastfeeding) and diet of mothers and babies on children`s allergies. They included observational studies from 1965 until July 2013 and interventional studies from 1965 until December 2017. The randomised controlled trials and observational studies were analysed separately.
They pooled figures from similar studies to calculate how interventions such as food supplements, or behaviour such as breastfeeding and general diet, affected the chances of children getting any type of allergy.
They checked the studies for potential bias and looked to see whether the pattern of results suggested that some studies with negative findings had not been published.
Because allergies are so common among children and can own a major effect on their lives, anything that helps us understand how to reduce the risk is extremely welcome. This study suggests certain aspects of women`s diets during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as well as infant-feeding practices, may own an effect on the development of allergies in children.
However, plenty of questions remain. The study doesn`t clearly tell us which probiotic supplements were taken in studies, at what dose or by whom. There isn`t enough clear evidence for us to know whether pregnant women, infants or both may benefit from taking supplements. That means recommendations can`t be made from this study.
Also, while lots of people eat probiotic yoghurts, we don`t know if these contain sufficient probiotic bacteria to be helpful or whether they are the correct strains of probiotics.
Moreover, while fish oil supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding were linked to a lowered chance of egg sensitisation when children were tested, that isn`t the same as food allergy.
Studies use egg-sensitisation tests to assess the risk of food allergy, but sensitisation does not necessarily mean an allergy will develop. We need to see longer-term studies that glance at the effects of supplements on real-world food allergies.
There were some further limitations.
Many of the studies looking at the effects of diet in pregnancy differed in the way they were carried out and reported.
Study results were inconclusive or inconsistent, meaning the researchers couldn`t be certain of any harms or benefits.
The 2013 cut-off for observational studies meant recent studies may own been missed.
The study didn`t glance at children`s diet beyond age 1, which might own an effect on allergies.
We will need to await any future updates to guidance or policy around diet or supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding, or feeding infants.
Discover out more about allergies and how to manage them.
If you`re pregnant, it`s significant to avoid any supplement, such as cod liver oil, that contains high levels of the retinol form of vitamin A. High doses of retinol can damage your baby.
Being pregnant can be a magical time in a woman’s life.
And while there’s little that could lessen the overwhelming joy of motherhood, numerous women can experience the onset of new allergies or an increase in existing allergies after pregnancy. What’s strange, however, is that these reactions are hard to explain definitively.
WATCH BELOW: Dealing with seasonal allergies
“The hard part is that there isn’t necessarily a huge quantity of medical evidence or research out there on allergies that happen after pregnancy,” says Dr. Quinn Hand, a naturopathic doctor in Toronto.
“But it makes sense that they would happen.
As much as pregnancy is a beautiful thing, it’s strenuous and traumatic to the human body.”
Hand points out that the body naturally immuno-suppresses itself so as not to deny the fetus during pregnancy, and in that process, it could shift how it would normally sensitize to allergens. When we’re immuno-suppressed, we don’t do an effective occupation of fighting off irritating or inflammatory things, whether they’re foods or environmental elements.
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“Eventually, when the immune system comes back online after giving birth, it looks for things to react to, which is why some women may experience reactions to certain foods that they could eat without issue prior to having a baby,” she says.
“It’s the same theory that’s applied to the increase in allergies in the general population.
The hypothesis is that we’re so over-clean and aren’t exposed to any parasites, so our IGE [an antibody whose function is to create an immunity to parasites] has to scan for other things to fight [i.e. react to].”
READ MORE: A peanut allergy ‘cure’ may be on its way. Here’s how it works
The most frequently reported allergic reactions in women post-pregnancy are increased seasonal allergies, food sensitivities, and PUPPP rash, a skin condition characterized by little pink itchy bumps on the abdomen in stretch marks.
This generally appears during pregnancy and can linger for weeks after birth. None of these allergies are life-threatening, nor are they dangerous to the baby, but they can affect a woman’s quality of life for a temporary period.
“You own to glance at the immune system imbalance and what’s happening at the gut level. There could be a shift in gut permeability, and we know so much of our immunity is in the gut,” which could lead to a food intolerance or sensitivity to an environmental factor, Hand says.
“Another potential thing that’s happening is that there’s a taxation on the adrenal system, which mitigates stress.
Women could react [like breaking out in hives] because their stress response isn’t working effectively and inflammatory elements are getting into the gut.”
READ MORE: Almost 50% of food allergies in adults start later in life: study
The excellent news is, in most cases, these allergies clear up on their own within a few months. Conversely, women can seek naturopathic remedies to speed up the recovery process.
In specific, Hand points to the powers of probiotics, whose sole purpose is to restore gut health.
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“It’s an immune imbalance within the body between the T helper cells, and probiotics can repair that imbalance. I had one patient who always had seasonal allergies but then she developed eczema after pregnancy. By using predominantly probiotics to balance the T helper cells, we were capable to resolve it,” Hand says.
“For a lot of women, these allergic reactions will subside, but you can also use some simple and basic tools.”
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Dealing with seasonal allergies
Most medicines taken during pregnancy cross the placenta and reach the baby.
Before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant, including painkillers, check with your pharmacist, midwife or GP that it’s suitable.
When deciding whether to take a medicine during pregnancy, it’s significant to discover out about the possible effects of that medicine on your baby.
This is the case both for medicines prescribed by a doctor and for medicines you purchase from a pharmacy or shop.
How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers said they «found a relationship between maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation [breastfeeding] and eczema or allergic sensitisation to food during childhood» and that their findings «suggest that current infant-feeding guidance needs revision».
What helpful of research was this?
This study was a systematic review and meta-analysis.
It included randomised controlled trials of interventions such as supplements, and observational studies of behaviour such as breastfeeding and general diet to see whether there were any links with children`s allergies.
These types of study are the best way to get a excellent overview of the state of research on a topic, and a meta-analysis can be a useful way of pooling results from numerous diverse studies. However, the overall findings are only as dependable as the underlying studies.
Which medicines are safe?
You can discover out information on medicines in pregnancy on the bumps (best use of medicines in pregnancy) website.
They also own advice on what to do if you own already taken a medicine in pregnancy.
But it’s also significant to never stop taking a medicine that’s been prescribed to hold you healthy without first checking with your doctor.
Stopping taking your medicine could be harmful to both you and your baby.
If you’re trying for a baby or are already pregnant, it’s significant to always:
- make certain your doctor, dentist or another healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment
- check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any prescribed medicines or medicines that you own bought
- talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medicine, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you discover out you’re pregnant
If you cannot find information about a specific medicine on bumps, you can enquire your doctor, midwife or pharmacist to contact the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS) for advice on your behalf.
Where did the tale come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham.
It was funded by the UK Food Standards Agency and published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine on an open-access basis, so it`s free to read online.
The study was covered widely in the UK media, with the focus mainly on the fish oil findings.
The reporting was generally precise, although the evidence would appear to be stronger for probiotics than fish oils.
What were the basic results?
The researchers analysed 433 studies with a entire of 1,506,815 participants – 260 of these studies covered milk feeding and 173 covered other maternal or baby diets.
Children who had been exposed to probiotic supplements, either directly through supplemented formula or via their mother`s diet when pregnant or breastfeeding, were 22% less likely to get eczema, based on 19 trials (relative risk [RR] 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68 to 0.9).
The researchers were moderately certain about these results, which equate to about 44 fewer cases per 1,000 children. It`s unclear whether the trials mostly looked at supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding, or supplementation of the infant`s diet.
Children born to women who took fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding were 31% less likely to show a sensitivity to egg at age 1, based on 6 trials (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.9). The researchers were moderately certain about these results, which equate to about 31 fewer cases per 1,000 children. These children were also 38% less likely to show a sensitivity to peanuts, but this was based on only 2 trials (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.96).
Breastfeeding for longer was associated with a lower risk of the kid getting recurrent wheeze (a sign of asthma), but the researchers said they had low certainty about these results, partly because these were observational studies that didn`t completely take account of potential confounders.
Avoiding certain foods while pregnant or breastfeeding did not seem to reduce the risk of allergy.
The researchers also found no convincing results for other types of supplements or for any specific type of diet, such as eating more vegetables.
They said tests of their results showed more certainty for the probiotic supplements than the fish oil supplements.