A food allergy is a type of immune system reaction. If you have a food allergy, your immune system incorrectly perceives a food protein, or allergen, as an invader and generates antibodies to combat it in an attempt to “defend” your body. Histamine is subsequently released into the bloodstream, where it acts on the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract, causing allergy symptoms.
Food allergy symptoms may include one or more of the following, depending on the severity of the allergy and the amount of allergen consumed:
Tingling sensation in the mouth
Eczema, hives, or itching
Lip, face, tongue, and throat swelling, as well as swelling in other areas of the body
Wheezing, nasal congestion, or breathing difficulties
Pain in the abdomen, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting
Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or fainting
Anaphylaxis, the most severe type of allergic reaction. It can cause airway edoema, severe breathing difficulties, a reduction in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and, in some circumstances, death.
Any food can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish are the top eight most prevalent food allergies in the United States, accounting for over 90% of all food allergy reactions.
When diagnosed with a food allergy, the best method to keep safe is to avoid consuming your food allergen completely. This can be tough, but resources such as BestAllergySites.com offer advice on how to avoid allergens as well as important resources such as allergy-friendly recipes and reviews on allergy-friendly products and services.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, consult with your doctor as soon as possible to see if allergy testing is necessary.