Considered as one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide, food allergy can be very serious and in rare instances can be fatal. However, this may be controlled if there is correct information regarding this condition. Support and understanding from family and friends are great help to those who have allergic reactions to food.
Food allergy happens when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific foods that are usually harmless to non-allergic from other abnormal responses to food such as food intolerance because its symptoms resemble those of food allergy. Food intolerance is triggered by several different mechanisms distinct from food allergy. Either food allergy or food intolerance affects people at some point. However, only three percent of adults and six percent of children have clinically proven true allergic reactions to food.
Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas shared that among the common symptoms of food allergy are an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat, or ears, a raised itchy red rash known as hives, swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth and vomiting.
Pargas also said that food allergy can develop at any age and at any time. They commonly happen in children but may give rise to symptoms for the first time in adulthood. In children, foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. In adults, the common causes of food allergy are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crab, lobster and prawns.
Allergens can enter the body through various routes like inhalation, ingestion, injection and external skin contact. They are absorbed and they enter the bloodstream. When they reach the skin, allergens can induce hives or eczema and when they reach the airways they can cause asthma. As these allergens travel through the blood vessels they can cause anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock which is a sudden drop in blood pressure which may be fatal if not treated quickly.
In addition, the most common allergy triggers known as allergens include food, medications, insect stings, animal dander, pollen, dust, mold and latex. In some instances, smoking, pollution, infection, and hormones are other factors that may cause allergic symptoms by consulting an allergy doctor. Once the allergen is identified, the treatment is to avoid the allergen that caused it.
To successfully manage your food allergy, there has to be a change in both diet and lifestyle. These change may seem hard and challenging at first, but this adjustment is a means to safeguard anybody from an allergic reaction and the hazard it may bring to one’s being.