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What You Need to Know About Food Allergies
Food allergies are a condition in which proteins found in some foods trigger the immune system to respond by releasing chemicals such as histamines. The released chemicals initiate some symptoms that are associated with an allergic reaction to food. These include some side effects such as swelling, digestive disorders, or hives. Typically food allergy happens when the immune system sees some particular foods as harmful hence triggering some reaction that initiates the allergic symptoms. The foods that cause allergies are commonly known as allergens. Allergies can cause symptoms that range from mild oral or digestive issues to life-threatening airway blockage. There are some well-known allergens such as pollen and tobacco smoke which are easy to avoid but there are allergens in certain foods that can lurk undetected and once ingested they trigger allergy attacks. This article details a few things you need to know about food allergy causes, sources, symptoms, and responses.
Although food allergies can develop in adults most start at childhood. An individual can develop an allergy to any food, and allergic patients can react to more than one type of food. In the United States, the foods that have been reported to cause most allergic reactions and their presence must be indicated in all food packaged are eggs, cow milk, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish, soy, and shellfish. However, the common foods that cause allergies in infants and children are milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, eggs, and wheat. It has been established that children can outgrow some allergies from foods such as cow milk, egg, and soy but they are unlikely to overcome allergic reactions from foods such as peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
A mild food allergy can trigger symptoms such as tingling or itching in your mouth. However, severe reactions can cause swelling of the tongue or lips, hives or skin reactions, diarrhea, vomiting, or life-threatening airway blockage. Some of the mild to moderate reactions to allergies are skin rash, red or itchy eyes, nausea, and red or itchy eyes. These symptoms develop few minutes after eating allergic food. You need to know that reactions that appear minor at first disappear fast. It is also good to recognize that food allergy symptoms can vary from episode to episode, for example, taking egg can cause itching today and the next time triggers breathing difficulties. In the cause of mild food allergies, they are treated using antihistamines to ease the symptoms. Severe food allergies can be fatal and need an alternative treatment approach. Signs of severe allergic reactions are swelling of the mouth, face, throat, or eyes, breathing difficulties, chest pain, rapid but weak pulse, or loss of consciousness. The main treatment of severe allergic reaction is epinephrine and the injection needs to be made as fast as possible.
It is imperative to recognize that there is no cure for food allergies. Therefore, the best preventive measure is to avoid foods that trigger an allergic reaction or with some allergens. That is why you should always read food labels and teach your children how to decipher them, for example, teach kids where the commonly allergic foods in the U.S are typically listed. Those are few things you need to learn about food allergies.