About 4 – 6% of children and 4% adults are affected by food allergies. Food allergies are reactions that are produced by the immune system of the body once some foods are eaten. The immune system of the body may feel that the food or substance in the food you ate is not friendly, thus producing protective reactions. These reactions can cause mild to severe effects. Although common in children, allergic reactions are also present in adults. It has not been established whether a child can inherit allergic reactions from a parent although there are cases where children inherited the problem from their parents.
Although food allergies can occur as a result of taking any food, there are some specific foods mostly known to cause allergies. These foods include:
· Tree nuts
· Mustard seeds
Symptoms of allergies
People suffering from food allergies exhibit some signs. It is good to be noted that different people may experience different allergic reactions. What’s more, the level of reactions can differ from one individual to another. The level of allergic reactions within the individual will, also, differ from time to time. This means that you may experience severe allergic reactions during morning hours but mild one during evening hours after eating the same kind of food. You shouldn’t expect the reactions to be uniform, therefore, by the virtue of taking some foods only.
Here are common symptoms of food allergies:
· Stomach cramps and vomiting
· Breath shortness
· Coughing repeatedly
· Trouble in swallowing
· Blue coloring of the skin
· Pale skin
· Circulatory collapse
· Swelling of the tongue
· Anaphylaxis – this condition can be life-threatening as it impairs breathing and shocks the body. These reactions may affect different parts of the body simultaneously.
It is good to note that most food allergic reactions occur about two hours after eating or immediately. There are some rare cases, though, where allergic reactions may be delayed for four to six hours. The most common cases occur in children that suffer from eczema.
The above symptoms of food allergies are not the definite indicative of someone suffering from food allergic reactions. Some of the above symptoms can manifest even when you don’t have food allergies. You can determine, though, whether you have this problem by visiting your doctor. You can also monitor the problem and see whether it repeats itself when you eat certain types of foods. If the same reactions continue to show, you might have food allergies.
Management and treatment
The primary way of preventing and treating food allergies is by abstaining from eating foods that may trigger allergies. You should try to avoid foods that have consistently caused allergic reactions whenever you ate them. These foods are most likely to cause allergies if you consume them. While you may know these foods and avoid cooking them at home, you may not know the ingredients of commercially cooked foods. It is important to establish the ingredients of each food type you intend to buy before actually buying. Foods that contain ingredients that trigger allergic reactions in your body should be avoided. You should also avoid foods that are labeled might contain ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions. Finally, it is good to avoid eating out in restaurants and events as much as possible. People tasked with cooking at events or restaurants may not know the ingredients and how you may be affected.