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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy Compared

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy is a topic I wanted to write on as I remember the FDA peanut recall expanded last year. There were quite a few peanut product manufacturers who came out in the open to volunteer to recall their products before the FDA could do so.

That was also around the time when the I was so glad insurance for children passed. It is just ridiculous not to have it. I knew the president, either Obama or Clinton, would do this presidential act. Gaining this coverage is such a welcome relief for parents especially if their child had diabetes.

After doing quite a bit of research in the form of documentary analysis I was quite surprised at the interesting result I found. It is that the children who suffer from peanut allergy may be more stressed out and anxious about their condition than the diabetic children.

Natalie J. Avery reported this at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's annual meeting. How did they come up with these findings? Well they based it on the data they gathered from the questionnaires given to 7 - 12 year old children, all forty of them.

The participants were divided into two groups. The twenty children who were allergic to peanuts were in one group while the other twenty children who were dependent on insulin were in another group. The children were asked to complete the questionnaire where high scores showed lower quality of life.

The researchers started with a hypothesis that the quality of life will be similar for the two groups. Much to their surprise the findings indicated that the children who were allergic to peanuts had worse quality of life than the other group.

You don't believe me? Well, here are the statistics: The peanut allergy group had a mean score of 55 and 54. This was reported by the University of Southampton's (in England) medical student, Ms. Avery. These were higher scores than the diabetic children whose scores were 46 and 35.

Just in case you're still skeptical of these findings due to the ages of the children involved, for which I don't blame you, the participants received cameras for 24 hours. Here they recorded how they were affected by either the diabetes or the peanut allergy.

They described the meanings of the photos and how they felt. It showed that the children who were allergic to peanuts were more afraid of getting allergic reaction than the diabetic children of getting hyperglycemia. The peanut group of children said that they have to be more careful of what they eat than the diabetic children.

They further reported that they feel more in danger than the diabetic children. They also worry more about being away from home. In addition they said that they have more restrictions as to the activities they participate in. Their life is more threatened and the fact that they cannot prevent being exposed to peanuts make them feel less in control.

How about you? Do you agree with these findings? Whether you agree or not, it would be nice to get the basis of your agreement or disagreement. As for me, I kind of think of this as something positive for the diabetic children.
And that's the comparison between diabetes and peanut allergy.

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