It’s common to have adverse reactions to foods we occasionally eat, such as gas from eating beans and headaches from drinking alcohol. If you are lactose intolerant, you may experience diarrhea when eating dairy products. These are all examples of food sensitivities or intolerances, and unlike allergies, they are not immune system reactions. With a food allergy, the immune system reacts to specific foods, which can result in anything from a mild rash or itching to an allergic Shock, a symptom of a potentially fatal severe reaction.
Common Food Allergy Symptoms
When the body reacts to a particular food with the immune system, it produces antibodies to that food. When you eat that food, the immune response is triggered, your body releases histamine, and you experience allergy symptoms. These symptoms may occur immediately after eating a particular food or they may occur several hours later. Food allergy symptoms may include
Asthma and other breathing difficulties
Vomiting or diarrhea
In severe cases, an allergic reaction may result in a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, or death.
Food intolerances do not involve a response from the immune system. For example, lactose intolerance is a common form of food intolerance. People who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme (lactase) needed to digest the sugars (lactose) in dairy products. This intolerance results in gas, bloating and abdominal pain when eating dairy products. Certain types of food intolerances, including lactose intolerance, can be treated. Over-the-counter lactase tablets can help people who are lactose intolerant digest dairy products, and many lactose-free dairy products can be used.
To help your doctor figure out if you have a food allergy or intolerance, keep a food diary and record what you eat and what you experience The symptoms. Your doctor may order a skin test or blood test to determine food allergies. Food intolerances and food allergies are treated differently.
Foods that cause allergies
The only way to prevent an allergic reaction to a food is to avoid eating that food. If you have an allergy, read the labels carefully and ask for the ingredients in the food you order at the restaurant.
Milk (mainly children)
Tree nuts (such as walnuts and pecans)
Soybeans (such as walnuts and pecans)
Fish (mainly adults)
Shellfish (mainly adults)
A milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance. When a person is allergic to milk, it is a reaction to milk proteins such as casein. Some people cannot drink milk, but can drink goat’s milk. Some people cannot drink any type of milk. Symptoms of a milk allergy include stomach pain, diarrhea, hives, or difficulty breathing. People with lactose intolerance cannot digest the sugars in dairy products (lactase). They may experience bloating or gas, but do not experience symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Read labels carefully. In addition to milk, look for ingredients such as casein or whey, which are components of dairy products. They may be found in products you might not associate with dairy products, such as instant mashed potatoes and baked goods.
Egg allergies are usually mild, but can be triggered by small amounts of eggs. Some people are allergic to egg white (albumin), while others are allergic to egg yolk. In rare cases, a severe egg allergy can lead to anaphylaxis. Read the ingredients and look for eggs on the list. In some cases, it may not be listed when there is only a small amount of egg. Some products state that they “may contain” eggs or other ingredients. If these products cause a reaction, avoid them.
Some foods that may contain eggs may not be obvious, including certain types of pasta, processed meats, bagels, pretzels, and Other baked goods. In some cases, eggs may not be listed on the package. If you have questions about how a product is produced, please contact the manufacturer.
Peanuts are a common food allergen, and people with peanut allergies can have severe reactions, which is why peanuts are often banned Reasons for entering the classroom. Some people are so sensitive that even shaking the hand of someone who has just eaten a nut can cause a reaction. In some cases, the reaction is so severe that a person can go into fatal anaphylactic shock.
Peanuts are used in a wide variety of foods, including ice cream (as a flavoring), pickles, snacks, cookies, baked goods and Sweets. African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese dishes often include peanuts as an ingredient. Peanuts are also used as a thickening agent in prepared foods, and peanut oil is used in many fried and prepared foods.
Tree nut allergy
Some people who are allergic to peanuts must also be careful with other types of nuts. Technically, peanuts are a legume (a type of bean) that grows in the ground, but people who are allergic to peanuts may also have an allergy to some tree nuts Allergic reactions. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, coconuts, chestnuts and lychee (litchi) nuts should be Avoid consumption. Read the label and remember that many of these nuts are hidden not only in food but also in non-food products such as lotions or Shampoo in.
An allergic reaction to wheat is actually an intolerance to gluten, a type of gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and oats Protein. Gluten intolerance is associated with “gluten sensitive bowel disease” or “celiac disease”. With celiac disease, the immune system responds abnormally to gluten, and the immune response caused by celiac disease is the same as that caused by other food allergies different. Symptoms of celiac disease include gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting.
People with celiac disease must read labels carefully to understand which products tend to contain gluten. Even gluten-free breads may contain small amounts of wheat. Wheat can also be found in and beer, bourbon, whiskey, and even wine. Many medications in tablet form do not list wheat binders on their labels. If you are allergic to wheat, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about using potato or cornstarch in liquid form or in tablet form.
Soybeans are widely used in food processing. Soybean meal can be found in a variety of foods, from baked goods and breads, to ice cream, breakfast cereals, frozen dinners, salad dressings, and Mayonnaise, margarine, sausages, hamburgers, other meat products, and even baby food. Many of these products do not list “soy” on their ingredient labels, but ingredients such as “hydrolyzed protein”, “lecithin”, ” ‘Thickeners’, ’emulsifiers’, ‘protein fillers’ or ‘extenders’ would all indicate the presence of soy.
If you are allergic to fish, it is easy to avoid eating it. When eating out, there is a risk of contamination from other foods. Ask that your food is not cooked on the same surface or in the same oil as the fish. Read the label as some products such as sauces or dressings may contain fish protein.
People who are allergic to shellfish must avoid eating all types of shellfish. Often people who are allergic to one type of fish have a “cross-reaction,” meaning they may be allergic to similar foods. For example, if you are allergic to shrimp, you may have an allergic reaction to crab, lobster, and crayfish.
While shellfish is not a common hidden ingredient, you need to be aware of certain foods. Many Asian dishes contain shellfish. Some imitation shellfish contain seasonings made from real shellfish. Finally, Caesar salad dressings and chili peppers may contain shellfish.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
The first step in diagnosing a food allergy is usually to keep a food diary. Record what you eat and the symptoms that follow. Next, your doctor may recommend eliminating foods that seem to trigger an allergic reaction. Sometimes, your doctor will oversee something called an oral food challenge, where the allergist is exposed to a suspect food.
Other tests may include a radioallergic adsorption blood test (RAST) to check the number of antibodies your immune system is producing. This can help identify a specific allergen. Allergy skin tests or needle prick tests can also be used to help determine the cause of an allergic reaction.
A food allergy is the immune system’s reaction to specific foods. Common foods that cause allergic reactions include shellfish, milk, eggs, and peanuts. Allergic reactions to foods can lead to hives, asthma, abdominal symptoms, dizziness and anaphylaxis.
Your doctor will determine whether the reaction to the triggering food is a true allergy or a food intolerance, the latter being more common and treated differently. Once a specific food allergy has been identified, patients can work with their doctor to manage their allergies.