(Reuters Health) – Many patients with life-threatening food allergies may feel anxious or overwhelmed at times, but it’s rare for mental health professionals to be involved in their care, suggests a survey of U.S. centers of excellence in allergy treatment.
Allergy specialists and mental health professionals should work together to create easier pathways for patients to get mental health support, the survey team writes in a “clinical communication” in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
“Food allergy is a chronic disease, but unique because you don’t suffer from the pain of it every day, but every time you eat, you may be afraid that something bad might happen,” said Dr. Marcus Shaker, a pediatric allergist at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, who wasn’t involved in the paper.
About 8 percent of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with a food allergy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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