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Nineteen year old cathy, my next door neighbor has an unusual reaction like severe abdominal pain for a couple of hours every time she consumes her favorite fruits – avocados, bananas, raw chestnuts, or kiwi. The unusual reaction began when she started consuming bananas on a regular basis for breakfast. At first, Saakshi thought that the cramps were due to some digestive problem. However, later she discovered that it was due to a food allergy, which was caused due to a reaction to latex products. The primary reason for the allergic reaction was due to her sensitivity to certain proteins in latex. Foods like avocados, bananas and kiwi contain similar proteins as latex.
Food allergy basically refers to a situation in which the body’s immune system responds unusually to certain foods. The allergic reactions that occur from consuming specific foods are often mild. However, they can also be serious depending on the kinds of foods you consume and sensitivity of skin.
When a person has a very severe allergic reaction to food it is known as anaphylaxis, which can have grave consequences on the health of individuals. In case you find someone having difficulty in breathing or swollen lips, then it is a case of anaphylaxis. A severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis greatly affects children.
Figures from European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) tell that over 17 million people in Europe have some or the other symptom related to food allergies. Young people and children are the worst affected by food allergies. Let us examine the causes of food allergies and how can we best treat them.
Image Credit: –foodallergyfoundation.org
Identifying the Causes of Food Allergy
Generally, your body’s immune system is capable of defending against harmful substances like several toxins, viruses and bacteria. In certain people, the body’s immune system responds negatively to a harmless substance like specific foods. The primary reason for food allergies to occur is associated to the body’s production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to a specific food.
Food contains allergens that are accountable for encouraging an allergic reaction. Proteins refuse to accept the acid in the stomach and intestinal digestive enzymes. This is one of the major reasons for the allergens to exist and they then move over to the gastrointestinal lining and gain access to the bloodstream and finally go up to the major organs in the body, thus causing allergic reactions.
Symptoms Associated With Food Allergy
Most people will experience symptoms generally within 2 hours after consuming food. Shortly after consuming a certain food you can develop certain symptoms, if you experience some signs, it is due to food allergy and must be treated immediately. Major symptoms of food allergy include wheezing, hives and a hoarse voice. Some of the other commonly experienced symptoms include:
- When you consume foods that you are allergic to you can experience swelling in your lips and itching in your mouth as you begin to eat the food.
- You will experience difficulty breathing and your nose will feel stuffy because of the allergens that enter your body and get in touch with your lungs.
- As the food reaches the digestive system, you will feel a pain in your stomach, have cramps and diarrhea.
- When the allergens move through your bloodstream, you will feel dizzy and weak because of drop in blood pressure levels.
- Food allergy also affects skin health. You will have dry, itchy skin when the allergens contact skin. Raised bumps on skin known as hives are also a common feature due to food allergy. Besides using natural skin care and anti aging products like Lifecell cream also helps keep skin healthy.
Some of the major risk factors associated with food allergies include:
- You are at great risk of developing allergic reactions to certain foods if diseases like asthma, eczema and hives prevail in your family.
- In case you are allergic to one food, you will be allergic to other foods as well. If you are already having eczema and hives, you will be at a greater risk of having food allergy.
- Age factor too plays a crucial role in increasing your chances to food allergies. Although food allergies are common in children and young people, it can get worse as you grow older. This is because as we age, digestive system tends to become weaker and this lessens the chances for the body to digest food properly, thus resulting in allergic reactions.
Stay Away From Food Allergy – Avoid these Foods
Few foods cause allergy and must be avoided for good health. The protein present in foods is largely responsible for food allergy.
- Children must avoid foods like eggs, milk and its products, fish, wheat, soy and peanuts, as they trigger allergic reactions.
- Adults must stay away from milk, peanuts and fish and eggs.
- Fruits like apples, pear, kiwi and peach can cause allergic reaction in adults and must be avoided.
- Vegetables too cause allergic reactions and those allergic to them must keep away. Celery, carrots and potato can cause food allergy.
- Crab, lobster and prawns are the other foods triggering allergic reactions.
Food allergies are authentic and can get worse if left untreated. Diagnosing the problem and timely treatment can help an individual overcome any serious problems. Here are a few ways to treat food allergies and lead a healthy life.
Easy Ways to Treat Allergic Reactions to Foods
The best way to treat food allergy is to eliminate the food that causes allergy from your diet. You must carefully read up food labels before buying foods and learn similar names of foods. Milk is also commonly known as “caseinate.”
For those suffering from severe food allergies, doctors will recommend an allergy kit comprising of epinephrine and antihistamines. Epinephrine is capable of completely eliminating or slowing down an allergic reaction. You will be advised to keep the allergy kit with you forever and replace medicines in the kit as the date of medicines expires.
Although there is no particular treatment for allergic reactions due to foods, there are several medications that can effectively control gentle and severe reactions. Research is underway for the most promising treatment that will be able to diagnose and treat food allergies well.
This is a guest post by Ella Torres from LifeCellSkin.ca. If you are also interest to write for HealthResource4u, Please check our guest posting guidelines at write for us.