Food is an integral part of our livelihood. Most of us also view food as a comfort space and are known to depend on it heavily for therapeutic effects. This article will be discussing food allergies and how they are caused.
We will also be dealing with its symptoms and treatment methods you could apply to get rid of it. In case you didn’t know this was a thing, you might want to give this one a quick read and find out what works for you.
What are the 5 common food allergies and their symptoms?
They are as simple as they mean. Foods with certain qualities cause allergic reactions in humans which are characterized by multiple symptoms and can cause a lot of discomfort.
In no way should this be confused with disliking a particular food which is more of a choice while allergies aren’t.
The cause of most of this seems to be unknown while researchers have been able to uncover some peculiar facts about the condition as well. So let’s look at the 5 common food allergies that people suffer from.
1. Peanut allergy
It is one of the most common allergies people could be suffering from. In fact, over 50 % of people could be suffering from the allergy at any given point in time. Researchers believe that the allergy is triggered when the body views peanuts as a threat.
When that happens, it starts to prepare its immune system to fight them off. This is when the body reacts in a different way than it usually should.
Individuals with allergies could develop hives with itching and persistent scratching. They are also known to be experiencing swelling and even digestive problems. In severe cases, the patient goes into shock and that is often life-threatening.
Milk allergy is known to be natural and those who don’t have it have a gene mutation. Cow’s milk is known to contain certain nutrients that can affect our body in a certain way which means the body preps like it’s a threat and decides to act against it.
This leads to the individual experiencing wheezing, coughing, and runny nose. Moreover, people are also known to have severe stomach pain which could then lead to anaphylactic shock as other allergies.
Egg whites and yolk are pretty safe for most of it. However, they are not in some cases as the protein can flare up your food allergies immensely.
The person who eats it could be feeling symptoms like vomiting, stomach ache, and even severe headaches that could spiral out into itching and anaphylaxis. Doctors also have treated patients with hives and eczema all over their bodies.
Shellfish is a delicacy but not to a large section of people who develop hives when they eat any. Moreover they also cough out and have difficulty breathing.
Researchers attribute this to the incorrect response of our immune system in viewing the foreign particle as a threat.
5. Tree nuts
This includes a wide range of nuts including walnuts and macadamia which create a sort of discomfort in the person eating it. This is hardly a normal reaction to the same but in some people, it can cause breathing and even skin difficulties.
Causes and treatment
When we look at the causes of food allergies they could be many. It primarily includes,
- Genetics: If you have it in your family, then most certainly you will be allergic to those food items as well. As some of them are due to gene mutation, it is no surprise.
- Immune system response: A lot of it depends on the way your immune system responds to certain drugs or substances. Some might have a strong immune system while others may have a fragile one.
- Early introduction of foods: It is also observed that people who are introduced to food substances earlier in their lives don’t develop any allergies while those in later stages have a greater chance of having an allergy.
- Environmental factors: This includes the pollutants and foods you are generally exposed to as you grow up. Certain pollutants could make your immune system powerful and that may help you in the long term.
- Hygiene hypothesis: The study is still in its infancy but researchers opine that cleaning some food products properly could make them non-allergic. This is not true for all products while certain things like meat or nuts are known to have that effect.
Now let’s look at the treatment protocol for these allergies. They include,
- Allergen avoidance: This is usually the safest option one could take as avoiding allergies could nip the problem in its bud. You should pay attention to the ingredients in certain foods so that you don’t ingest them accidentally.
- Emergency medications: In case you ingest some there are life-saving medications to prevent you from spiraling out like Ephinephrine auro injectors with the right ingredients to reverse the condition.
- You could also use antihistamines in case you think you have consumed something you could be allergic to.
- Immunotherapy: This includes treating your immune system to be resistant to certain food substances slowly through a set of medications and therapy.
- This might work in some cases while in others, it won’t. Both oral and Sublingual immunotherapy are currently being used to relieve the symptoms of allergies.
Food allergies are more common than you think. Most people suffer from it and they might not even know it. In case you feel uneasy after eating a new food, you might want to consult an immunologist to understand its implications on your body.
It could be other reasons as well but tracking what you could eat and what you cannot would be helpful to avoid unnecessary episodes. In case you have a diagnosed allergy, please carry your medications like antihistamines or EpiPens with you at all times.
Let your loved ones know what your allergies are so they can accommodate accordingly or know how to administer medicine in case of emergencies.
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- What you need to know about food allergies. (2021).
- Masilamani, M., et al. (2011). Determinants of food allergy.