By Henry Ehrlich
Thus ends the third calendar year of asthmaallergieschildren.com. We have striven to bring our readers a fresh and timely take on news and events across the broad range of allergic diseases, and I doubt if any medically oriented website can match our record. This is the 375th original post we have published since June, 2010 across our spectrum of blogs. That’s up 125 since we compiled our ebook anthology of 89 pieces, Children’s Allergies and Asthma: one of nature’s dirty tricks, in 2012. Sales have been disappointing, but at $2.99 it remains a valuable reference about allergies and asthma around the world.
We have had many guest contributors, and I’d like to thank them individually for sharing their wisdom with us. Dr. John Weiner of Melbourne, Australia, a witty and wise practitioner in the world’s number one allergy nation for his comments on food as a trigger for asthma. Dr. Eva Untersmayr of the Eva Untersmayr, MD, PhD, head of the Gastrointestinal immunology research group at Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at the Medical University of Vienna for her wonderful piece on the connection between use of antacids and adult onset food allergies.
Also from far away but in the United States, Melinda Rathkopf, MD, on her long migration from the Deep South to the Frozen North—the state of Alaska—where people are allergic to whale and seal meat.
We welcomed back contributors Anne F. Russell BSN, RN, AE-C and Michael Pistiner MD, this time as a duet talking about food allergy education. In my humble opinion, these two are among the most innovative thinkers in the country on the way food allergy can be managed and treated at the patient level. Thanks, Anne and Michael.
Tony Cook, for his account of bronchothermoplasty and the battle back from debilitating asthma. Lisa Horne of the Arizona Food Allergy Alliance for her account of securing access-to-epinephrine legislation in her state. Anna Nowak-Wegzryn, MD at Mount Sinai, one of the great authorities on the food allergy epidemic worldwide, for looking at the future of the epidemic and its effects on institutions. Jan Hanson, founder of Educating For Food Allergies, LLC, and author of Food Allergies: A Recipe For Success At School, for her piece on dealing with food when it is incorporated into a school curriculum.
Also, Dr. Frank Adams, host of the pulmonology program on SiriusXM Doctor Radio (channel 81) where Dr. Ehrlich appears now and then, for a peak into the crystal ball on asthma therapies of the future.
Another take on asthma came from Caroline Moassessi, a food allergy and asthma mom who blogs at gratefulfoodie.com. Caroline wrote a piece on living in Reno, Nevada, downwind from the Yosemite forest fires, which read like a dystopian suburban sit-com. Her piece ought to be an object lesson for policy makers across a range of issues, public health being just one.
Davis Liu, MD at Kaiser in California, for his take on the impact of testing on the nation’s health care costs and quality of care.
Susan Weissman gave us two new pieces, one about her reflections on the FARE spring fundraiser and another on what she would like to say to Michelle Obama after hearing that her daughter Malia has a peanut allergy, which the President announced after signing H.R. 2094, aka the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. Susan’s landmark book Feeding Eden: the Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family was issued as Kindle edition this year.
Special mention for Jessica Martin, PhD, who did three fantastic pieces for us. Jessica is a neuroscientist who has food-allergic children and started a blog with the intention of exploring food allergy through the lens of her scientific training. After reading her work, I reached out and asked her two write about her dual perspectives of motherhood and science, Part One and Part Two. We were richly rewarded. More recently she did a piece on what we can learn from research that produces “negative” results. Jessica’s is a unique voice and sensibility as far as I’m concerned.
While they are not contributors to this website, I would like to thank Jenny Sprague and Homa Woodrum for dreaming up and pulling off the first-ever Food Allergy Bloggers Conference held in November. Paul and I both spoke and we had a wonderful time.
And finally, thanks to Paul and Larry for their blogs as well as their co-authorship of Asthma Allergies Children: a parent’s guide. It doesn’t sell as well as we would have liked by a long shot, but we still think it’s the best book of its kind.
For the coming year I am going to try to expand our coverage of atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis. Food allergies seem to command a disproportionate amount of attention and it’s sometimes easy to forget that these other conditions are out there.
I am also looking forward to the imminent publication of my new book, Food Allergies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Science, and the Search for a Cure, about the work of my esteemed friend, Dr. Xiu-Min Li.