You are eating your favorite dish in the whole world, buttered shrimp. You savor the moment, eat each shrimp as if they are the only thing that makes you happy, but suddenly you feel your lips swelling, your skin itching, headaches, and even difficulty in breathing. You’re curious with what is happening and then you suddenly remember you are allergic to shrimp. You have just experienced the symptoms of a food allergy.
Not all people experience food allergy. This kind of allergic reaction is triggered by the food we eat and there are various foods that may cause this condition. As the unwanted food is eaten, the immune system reacts through irritation and by other body symptoms, thus causing the allergic reaction.
Food allergy can happen to both kids and adults. Also, when one gets to experience their first allergic reaction, it is possible that the succeeding ones will take effect differently. Once the person encounters the symptoms for the first time, it is suggested that they completely avoid the food that caused the reaction; because soon enough, though it happens rarely, it may lead to more serious and life-threatening results.
For now, let us know of the common symptoms that food allergies can cause:
- The mouth and lips may get swollen and itchy.
- Person may encounter vomiting that is incorporated with diarrhea and pain or cramps in the abdominal area.
- Skin conditions like hives and eczema may suddenly appear.
- There will be difficulty in breathing which is most of the time associated with tightness in the throat.
- Also, cases of low blood pressure can possibly occur.
There is another symptom that may arise when a person has a food allergy – anaphylaxis. This condition rarely happens, but when it does it can get really serious and life-threatening.
What is Anaphylaxis
The main description of anaphylaxis is that it is a severe reaction of the body to allergies, and it does not only limit to food allergies, it can also occur when the person is allergic to insect stings, also due to allergies from certain medications, and allergy to latex or tree saps. It is dangerous in such a way that it seriously affects parts of the body or even the whole body. It really is unpredictable.
In the case of anaphylaxis, it can be related to other conditions. For example, when the person has other allergies or history (or currently have) asthma, they are more prone to having anaphylaxis. Also, once you encountered it even from the past, chance is you’re likely to encounter it again.
Fortunately, when anaphylaxis happens, there is an effective medication against it; it is called epinephrine. This epinephrine is given through injection, and it is said to really work in relieving the symptom. However, people who tend to occasionally experience anaphylaxis need to bring their own auto injections all the time, because when they get their severe allergy the symptom may come again anytime.
Lastly, the most important thing to do when one experiences anaphylaxis is that they must immediately rush to the nearest hospital, especially since most cases of anaphylaxis are considered as an emergency situation.
10 Most Common Food Allergies
Young children are the most prone to getting allergies with eggs. In most cases, the affected kids are able to surpass the allergy as they get older, but there are a few who lives with the allergy until then.
The best thing to do is to completely avoid eggs and especially be careful when checking labels since the egg ingredient has many other names such as albumin, lecithin, lysozyme, and many more. Be sure to give this extra attention since those terms are used to pertain to egg protein.
Allergy to milk and other dairy products is different from lactose intolerance. Like egg allergies, this is common to young children; also most of them tend to outgrow the allergy. However, there are still some who live by with the allergy through their adulthood.
Again, be sure to always check food labels to see any sign of milk ingredient.
Having a peanut allergy is hard, this is due to the allergic reaction of the body when it detects the peanut as an allergen. A person who is allergic to peanuts can experience mild to severe allergy symptoms, and there are also possibilities that one may encounter the avoided anaphylaxis.
Food with peanuts is easy to determine the checking of their labels. Also, even food that does not completely contain peanuts but is made in the same factory as those that have them already put precautionary notes in their food labels.
Soy allergy is easy to detect, and it can start from a child’s infancy. Fortunately, most cases of soy allergy only stay until childhood, but just like the other allergies, there may still be a chance of bringing it until adulthood. One can also get soy allergy when the person inherits other allergic conditions like asthma, hay fever, and others.
If suffering from soy allergy, you must always be careful of the food you eat since soy products are easily added even to our daily food.
When a person has a wheat allergy, it is mainly caused by the protein contained in wheat-based foods called gluten. This allergy is most of the time compared to another condition called celiac disease, but do not get mistaken since they are completely different from one another.
Being allergic to wheat is also possible to trigger anaphylaxis, so always be careful about what you eat. Good news though, nowadays there is a lot of available gluten-free food which can be eaten by people with a wheat allergy.
Tree nuts are almost like peanuts, the difference is that tree nuts come from trees and the peanuts are considered to be legumes. These are almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and many more.
However, tree nuts can be found as an ingredient even in unexpected foods. Since tree nut allergy can also trigger anaphylaxis, do your best to completely avoid it; and also be aware of the ingredients of all the food you eat since they can also be found in sauces and dressing.
Shellfish allergy mostly occurs in adults, and it is very easy to detect and identify. The seafoods that belongs to this category are crustaceans and mollusks. Crustaceans are the ones with a hard skeleton outside their main bodies but do not have one inside their bodies, examples are shrimp, crabs, lobster, crayfish, and the like; while mollusks are an octopus, squid, clams, scallops, oysters, and many more.
Fish allergy almost happens separately from shellfish allergy. Also, it somehow hard to avoid since most foods contain unexpected fish content, just like how some sauce and dressings have a few hints of anchovies in them.
Fruits and vegetables
People who are allergic to specific fruits and vegetables are those that are allergic to some pollen allergens since some fruits and veggies contain the pollens. Allergic reactions occur when the foods are eaten raw.
Sesame seeds are usually added to bread and salads, thus people with sesame seed allergy must resort to eating food as such. This allergy is not yet that profound, but it is said that it is somehow already prominent in the Middle East where sesame seeds are widely used.