Food allergy symptoms & testing

Most of us hear from others that they have allergy from a particular food. If we suffer from nausea, vomiting, skin rashes or hives, indigestion etc after eating or drinking something it is said by the people that you are suffering from food allergy. Fact is that only 1-2% of adults and 2 -8% of children really have clinically proven food allergy.

There is a common misunderstanding among people about food allergy and food intolerance. So, before knowing about food allergies we should be clear about the differences between food allergies and food intolerance. Food allergies are related to the body’s immune system and food intolerance is an inability to digest particular food and it originates in gastrointestinal system.

Sometimes our immune system fails to recognize an allergen and treats it as an enemy or harmful thing so, immune system starts preparing antibodies against allergen.In first exposure there is no allergic reaction. If that substance again enters into the body it is treated as an enemy and antibodies starts taking action against it. There are some common symptoms of food allergies:

Common Symptoms

Peanuts also trigger food allergy in some people

Although different symptoms are felt by different people during food allergy yet there are some common symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, itching, skin rashes, and indigestion and asthma attacks. In severe cases anaphylactic shock may develop which is a collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system which could be fetal. Susceptible person should be careful about this shock. They should carry emergency medical information in there wallet that could be helpful during emergency treatment.

Allergic reactions can be provoked by any food like in some people peanuts do but 90% of them are caused by following food products:

· Milk and milk products.

· Eggs

· Soy and soy products

· Peanuts

· Wheat and wheat products

· Fish

· Shellfish

· Tree nuts.

Mostly food allergies during infancy include allergies from egg, milk, soy and wheat but it fades away within first 3 to 5 years. In older kids and some adult’s sea food, peanuts and tree nuts cause allergic reactions. Cooking reduces the intensity of allergic reactions sometimes but it is not always true .As we see that roasted peanuts are more allergic than raw peanuts.


What causes food allergy ?

Researches are still being conducted to know the reason behind particular allergies but doctors have still not come to any conclusion although, heredity play an important role in many people having food allergies but nothing can be concluded exactly.

As earlier said infant food allergies fades away as they grow older but in adults elimination of suspected food or certain tests are more beneficial.


Are you allergic ? How to know ?

If you want to know or check about yourself being allergic to particular food you should keep a watch on your food intake or diet. Make a diary of the food you are taking, write about the ingredients. If you can, starts watching your health .If any symptoms of allergy start after having particular food eliminate the suspected food from your diet for a week. Try suspected food again, if same symptoms develop that suspected food is your culprit. Other tests are also there which can identify allergies clinically, like skin tests

and blood tests.

Once it is proven what provokes allergies in you eliminate that food completely from your diet and you will have no more food allergies.

Tips for people susceptible to food allergies

· Make a habit of reading labels which is provided for your safety and you should use it.

· Avoid processed food.

· If you are going to a restaurant or for a dinner never hesitate to ask about the ingredients of recipe you are going to have.

· Sometimes food contaminates through improper handling, so avoid it from being contaminated.

· Some hidden ingredients cause food allergies, keep an eye on that.

It is clear that the best way to keep yourself away from any food allergy is prevention. Always adapt a good reading habit and try to know more about the food you eat because simply eating can sometimes be painful “more painful than reading”.