Basic Facts and Common Symptoms of Food Allergy

A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to food triggered by the immunity. Actually, the immunity is not responsible for food intolerance symptoms, although the symptoms might be similar to food allergy. For instance, allergy to milk differs from the inability to digest food properly because of lactose intolerance. Basically there are two ways in which food provokes physical signs. The first type is called food hypersensitivity.

These responses happen when the immune system reacts unusually to proteins from particular foods. The immunologic responses are caused by the so called IgE antibodies, referred to as food allergy. The abnormal reactions may be attributed to mechanisms which don?t involve IgE. People having food allergy caused by IgE antibodies activity experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea; skin reactions in the form of eczema and hives, and systemic reactions, called anaphylaxis which is expressed in wheezing, blood pressure reduction and throat swelling. Food hypersensitivity not linked with IgE antibodies is represented in relatively rare dysfunctions, including celiac disease and food-induced enterocolitis.

The second group of reactions is called food intolerance responses. These negative reactions to food are common and generally they are not attributed to immunologic mechanisms.

Most common food allergies

Peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, eggs, wheat, cow’s milk, fish and shellfish are most common allergenic foods. Allergy to soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, and wheat generally develops in the early years of life, and hypersensitivity to fish and shellfish is more likely to manifests itself in adulthood. In fact, allergy to eggs and milk resolves in most cases between the age of 3- 5 years. Allergy to fish, shellfish, peanut and tree nuts will last for the whole life.

Food allergy treatments

There are some crucial steps you should take to protect yourself from food allergies. These steps are as follows:

  1. Avoid all the food you are allergic to. It is often rather challenging to stay away from food which shows up frequently in food items as concealed ingredients, like peanuts.
  2. Try to be always careful, especially when you dine out. Inadvertent reactions to allergenic foods happen mostly in friends? home or when eating out.
  3. Avoid products with unknown list of components. If your children have any kind of food allergies, you should make all snacks and lunches which they take to school on your own at home.
  4. It is useful to wear a special medic-alert bracelet in order to make people know you have a serious allergy to food which might be life-threatening.
  5. Epinephrine is the most crucial treatment for anaphylaxis induced by food. Individuals who have history of systemic reactions caused by food allergy should always have epinephrine on them.

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