What Is Food Allergy? Causes, Symptoms And Preventions

What Is Food Allergy?

Food allergies are immune reactions, usually uncomfortable or dangerous, which occurs soon after an unsupported food is eaten.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4-6 percent of kids and 4 percent of adults have an allergy of some kind. As stated above, children are more likely to be allergic to some certain foods but allergic symptoms can occur at any age and you can develop an allergy for a food you've eaten for years without any problems.

When you think you're having the symptoms of allergy, the specialist you need to see is an allergist. An allergist is a medical professional who studies the symptoms, source and treats the symptoms of allergy to food.

What Are The Symptoms Of Food Allergies?

Having an allergic reaction to some foods can cause uncomfortable reactions in your body. You can easily know youre allergic to a certain food because you begin to feel the following symptoms few minutes or hours after eating the food.

These allergic symptoms includes ;

  • Clinging or tingling in the mouth soon after eating the offensive food.
  • Significant swelling of the tongue that it may affect speech or breathing.
  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded or fainting.
  • Repetitive cough.
  • Breathing problems and nasal congestion.
  • Trouble swallowing due to tight hoarse throat.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
However, food allergies may trigger a more severe ccondition known as Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition which can lead to coma or death if untreated. In addition to the symptoms of allergies, anaphylaxis has some other symptoms which includes the following.
  • A severe drop in the blood pressure due to shock.
  • Impaired breathing.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Unconsciousness due to dizziness and lightheadedness.

As anaphylaxis is an extremely dangerous symptom, one should call for emergency treatment if the symptoms are suspected.

Causes Of Food Allergies.

After reading this article to this point, you may ask; What are the causes of food allergies? And that's just what I'm going to share with you here.

Food allergies happens when your immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food item or class as something harmful and releases chemicals to neutralize the suspected food item.

When this happens, eating very small amounts of foods your body has identified to be dangerous may cause the immune system to notify the body cells to release the chemical (usually immunoglobulin E) to fight the allergen (the offensive food).

This means that when you're allergic to a particular food, eating very little amounts of it will cause almost all the symptoms that can be experienced when you eat a lot of it.

However, your risk of being allergic to foods can be increased by the following.

  1. Food causes.
Food causes of allergies are when allergic reactions occurs soon after eating a particular food. It means the body has identified the particular food iitemas something potentially harmful and once you take in the food, you experience allergic symptoms.
However, more people are allergic to certain foods more than others.
Any food can cause allergic reactions, but majorities of allergies are usually caused by the following foods.
  • Shellfish.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Peanuts.
  • Wheat.
  • Tree nuts, for example, walnut.
  • Milk.
  • Soy.
These eight types of foods account for about ninety percent of all allergies but this does not mean you should stop eating it if it causes no reactions.

  2. Exercise induced reactions.

Sometimes, allergic reactions may occur as a result of the intake of a food item soon after exercising. However, this can be prevented easily by eating before exercising.

  3. Having other allergies.

You may be allergic to insect stings, drugs or have the hay fever or skin allergies. These may eventually lead to food allergies as they are heavily linked together. It will be a good idea to start talking to your doctor about the emergency food allergies treatment if it comes severe.

Also, being allergic to some foods may also trigger allergies to some other foods.

Risk Factors Of Food Allergies.

Due to some risk factors, some people may be be at more risk of developing allergies or allergic reactions.

  • Family history.
People who have a family member who has previously been diagnosed of one of the food allergies related illnesses like asthma, hives or hay fever are at a bigger risk of developing allergies.
  • Age.
If you've been following this article, you should understand that young people are at a greater risk of getting food allergies.
  • Other allergies.
People who are allergic to other foods or have previous allergic illnesses are at a greater risk of developing food allergies.

Preventions Of Food Allergies.

When your body is allergic to a particular food, you may prevent occurrence of allergic reactions by following these tips.
  • Read labels of foods carefully and be sure it's not containing any of the ingredients you are allergic to.
  • In case you later develop severe reactions, you may start to talk to your doctor about emergency epinephrine.
  • It is a good idea to take special foods to parties in case you're having allergies to party treats.
  • Be careful at restaurants and always know the constituents of what you're eating, remember, a small amount may cause allergic symptoms.
  • Notify people you have the reactions by wearing a medical bracelet if your mouth is affected.

How Is Food Allergies Treated?

Food allergies has no cure. However, it's symptoms can be treated using epinephrine. Epinephrine is injected into the body to atop the allergic reactions.

Epinephrine auto-injectors are emergency epinephrine injecting apparatus which your allergist should prescribe and teach you how to use once you're diagnosed of food allergies.

Once you experience allergies symptoms, visit your doctor. That is the best way to treat food allergy.

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