Food Allergy

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What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy is an allergic reaction to a compound within the food that we eat. Food allergies start at childhood and usually remain through the lifetime of the individual. A family history of allergies may predispose a person to have a food allergy or other allergy.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rash throughout the body
  • What Causes Food Allergy?

    It is quite important to pinpoint the cause of a food allergy because it is potentially life threatening. Thankfully, it is much easier to notice what you have eaten at the time of an allergic reaction than what airborne allergen you were exposed to.

    Once the food that causes the allergy is identified, you can avoid it to prevent further reactions. Below are some food families that you may be allergic to; if you are allergic to one of the foods within that family you may also have a reaction with the others.

    Allergen

    Risk of allergic reaction to:

    Peanut

    Peas, lentils, beans, soy

    Nuts

    Nut stop, hazelnut

    Salmon

    Swordfish, halibut

    Shrimp

    Crab, Lobster

    Rye

    Wheat, barley

    Cow milk

    Cow meat, goat milk

    Pollen

    Apple, peach, melon

    Latex

    Kiwi, banana, avocado

     

    Diagnosis of Food Allergy

    A health care practitioner can identify the foods you may be allergic to through some tests. You may be given small doses of foods that commonly trigger allergic reactions to see if you are allergic to them. Another test performed in a skin prick test where the allergens are deposited into your skin to see if a reaction occurs.

    Treatment of Food Allergy

    The best thing to do if you find that you are allergic to a particular food is to avoid it. This may be difficult to do if you eat out because not all food ingredients may be apparent to the server. Processed foods usually contain an ingredient list, as well as a warning about what other foods are processed using the same equipment.

    If a reaction occurs, an antihistamine may help relieve symptoms. If the reaction proves severe and difficulty breathing occurs, seek emergency help immediately.

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