What Is 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.


    Risk of allergic reaction to:


    Peas, lentils, beans, soy


    Nut stop, hazelnut


    Swordfish, halibut


    Crab, Lobster


    Wheat, barley

    Cow milk

    Cow meat, goat milk


    Apple, peach, melon


    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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