It is surprising to know that majority of people do not realize that they are allergic to certain food items, in India, while those living in the west are well-aware of what not to eat to avoid any health problems.
Food allergies occur when a sensitive person eats, inhales, or comes into contact with even tiny amounts of certain foods. These reactions occur with exposure to proteins called allergens and can be very mild or may be life-threatening.
Food allergies are becoming more and more common. There has been an increase in severe food allergy cases in the last 10 years, mostly driven by peanut and tree nut allergies.
In children, the most common food allergies are:
- Cow’s milk
- Hen’s eggs
- Tree nuts
In adults, the most common food allergies are:
- Tree nuts
- Crustaceans (such as shrimp, crabs, and lobster)
- Mollusks (such as clams, oysters, and mussels)
Symptoms tend to occur just after eating, inhaling, or coming into contact with the offending food. Symptoms may include reddening of the skin, hives, itchy skin, swollen lips or eyelids, tightness of the throat, wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, vomiting, or diarrhea.
“Unfortunately, the only treatment we have is avoidance,” Oppenheimer says. “But I have several suggestions that help. One is to wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. And for restaurants, I am a big fan of giving the server a card that shows what you are allergic to, and having the chef sign the card to make sure you aren’t given anything you’re allergic to.”
Outgrowing Food Allergies
The new guidelines stress repeated testing to see whether a food allergy fades over time.
Many children with food allergies become tolerant to those foods over time. This is most likely to happen with allergies to cow’s milk, hen’s eggs, wheat, and soybeans. It’s least likely to happen with peanut, tree-nut, and seafood allergies.
Source: Web MD