Food allergy affects around 7% of children under the age of 3 and around 3% of adults. These numbers do not indicate a cure for certain allergies, rather some people outgrow their allergy as they age.
Food allergies are caused by your body mistakenly identifying specific foods as something harmful. In response your immune system triggers cells to release an antibody known as immunoglobulin to neutralize the allergen. Any time that food is ingested after that, the immunoglobulin antibodies signal your immune system to release histamine into your blood stream which causes allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of allergic reaction include:
- Tingling or itchy mouth
- Hives or itchy skin
- Swelling of lips, face, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body
- Wheezing, congestion, or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- This severe reaction can be life threatening as it constricts airways, quickens heart rate and drops blood pressure.
- Emergency treatment is critical for anaphylaxis.
The severity of allergic reactions greatly varies. If you have a reaction schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible but if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis you should seek immediately seek emergency treatment.
Of course, the best course of action when it comes to managing the symptoms of food allergies is prevention. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to know and avoid foods that cause symptoms.
There are numerous sources of food allergies, but most reactions are caused by these eight foods.
- Tree nuts
If you have a food allergy it’s important to be always be aware of what you’re eating, be cautious at restaurants and always ask for a list of ingredients if you’re unsure. If your past reaction was severe it may be beneficial to wear a medical bracelet or talk to your doctor about prescribing emergency epinephrine.