Food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts in a negative way after consuming certain foods. Most often, an allergic reaction to food is mild. However, certain allergies can be very serious and affect various areas of the body.
Some common symptoms of a food allergy include itchy sensations inside the mouth, ears, or throat, red rashes on the body, swelling all over the face, vomiting, and so on. Some severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening for an individual. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, which is also called Anaphylaxis, include difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing or speaking, and fainting.
Causes of Food Allergies
Food allergies are caused when the immune system mistakenly treats the protein ingredients within food as a threat and releases a number of chemicals in the body. The released chemicals cause the symptoms of allergic reactions in the body.
Children who experience eczema during infancy have a high chance of experiencing food allergies during adulthood. The worse the condition of eczema, the higher is usually the probability of allergies. The reasons behind food allergies are still not fully understood by science.
How to Treat Food Allergies?
The most effective way to prevent an allergic reaction is to identify and avoid the food that causes the discomfort. Experiments are being undertaken to desensitize some common food allergens, but the methods are not yet established.
It is not advised to radically cut or change any particular foods, especially for children. Dairy products, for example, include some of the most important nutrients for children, and cutting them off could hamper the proper growth.
Antihistamines are the most common and effective medicines to relieve the symptoms of mild to moderate allergic reactions.
Adrenaline is also an effective treatment for severe allergic symptoms. People allergic to certain foods use an auto-injector pen device that contains adrenaline doses that can be used in emergencies.
Foods That Cause Allergic Reaction
Some of the most common foods that cause allergic reactions are:
Allergic reactions to cow’s milk are most prevalent in babies and young children. When a child is exposed to cow’s milk protein before turning six months old, allergic reactions are most likely to occur. 90% of children usually outgrow the condition by the time they’re three.
Allergic symptoms that occur due to egg consumption include digestive distress, skin reactions, respiratory problems, and anaphylaxis. It is possible to be allergic to be egg whites solely. Treatment for an egg allergy is usually an egg-free diet.
Tree nut allergy is one of the most common forms of food allergy. Almonds, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, pine, walnuts can all cause allergies. Food products made with these nuts will also cause the symptoms. Tree nut allergies can be severe as they are responsible for almost 50% of anaphylaxis-related deaths.
Peanut allergies are very common and have the potential to be fatal. The reason behind peanut allergy is unknown, but it is known to be prevalent in people with a family history of peanut allergy.
Different types of shellfish such as shrimps, prawns, crayfish, lobster, squid, and scallops are known to trigger seafood allergies.
Wheat allergy causes digestive stress, hives, vomiting, rashes, swelling, and anaphylaxis. People with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are advised to avoid wheat that contains the protein gluten.
Soy is another ingredient that can cause allergic symptoms such as itchy and tingly mouth, runny nose, rashes, breathing difficulties, and asthma. Soybeans, soy milk, soy sauce are common products that cause soy allergy.
Besides the mentioned foods, there are also some other foods that can affect people negatively. Some lesser-known allergic foods include linseed, sesame seed, avocado, garlic, celery, mustard seeds, banana, peach, kiwi fruit, and chamomile.
Foods That Can Alleviate Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies or otherwise called allergic rhinitis, occur during spring or summer. Treatment of allergies caused by plant pollen usually involves medicines. However, lifestyle changes can also help in alleviating seasonal allergies. From boosting the immune system to reducing inflammation, there are a number of different foods that can help mitigate seasonal allergies.
Ginger is a natural remedy for some serious issues like nausea, joint pain, and migraine. It is also effective against seasonal allergies due to its incredible anti-inflammatory properties.
Citrus fruits have a lot of vitamin C in them, which decreases allergic rhinitis.
Curcumin is an active ingredient found in turmeric, which is known for reducing inflammation-driven diseases. Turmeric helps minimize swelling and irritation caused by allergic rhinitis.
The more EPA fatty acid is found in our bloodstreams, the less our risk of allergic sensitivity. Eight ounces of fish per week, especially fish with a high amount of low-mercury fatty acid, are incredibly effective against allergic reactions. Although there are many foods that can cause massive disruption in our comfort, there are also foods that help us alleviate a lot of complications. Making the lifestyle choice of being conscious about the food that we eat can drastically improve the quality of our lives.