Food Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment

Food allergies are a common problem for children but also for adults. These allergies are caused by the immune system which mistakes certain food or food groups for a threat to the body. The immune system then creates antibodies to fight off the ‘threat’.
What are food allergies?

Food allergies are a common problem for children but also for adults. These allergies are caused by the immune system which mistakes certain food or food groups for a threat to the body. The immune system then creates antibodies to fight off the ‘threat’. These antibodies force mast cells to release chemicals, like histamine, into the bloodstream. This results in mild to heavy reactions affecting eyes, skin or throat. Symptoms of an allergy are:

Respiratory problems due to tightening of the throat

Vomiting

Rash

Diarrhea

Swollen body parts

The most severe reaction to certain food or foodgroups is called anaphylaxis. People prone to anaphylaxis are at a high health risk if their allergies act up. Their body causes many reactions all at once. Their blood pressure drops and they have problems breathing due to a narrowing of the throat. These individuals need to have emergency kits on them everywhere they go. Note that certain allergies can pass, but serious allergies to peanuts for example often last a lifetime.

Food allergies mostly affect children. Dairy products, soy products, peanuts and wheat are the most common allergies. These allergies may influence an individual’s day-to-day life, but with patience and attention to details, life with an allergy shouldn’t be a massive problem.

Diagnosis

If you are under the impression that you are suffering from a food allergy the following will help in diagnosing your condition:

Visit a doctor. He will ask about your family’s health history and your symptoms.

Have a skin test. This test allows you to find out which substances you are allergic to by injecting them into the arm.

Consider a blood test. The blood test will show the antibodies in your bloodstream. This will help determine your allergies.

Keep a food diary. By keeping a food diary you will have a clear vision of your reactions to certain foods.

Treatment for food allergies

Treatment for food allergies are complex. There is no real solution, the best way to avoid an allergic reaction to certain food is to avoid the food. Reading food labels will help with avoiding certain foodgroups. However, certain individuals have a food allergy so severe that they cannot eat food which is made in the same factory as the food that causes their allergic reactions. To avoid this, be sure to read food labels and wrappers. However, if you’ve eaten the wrong food, be sure to stay calm. If anaphylaxis occurs, a shot of epinephrine may be needed. The epinephrine should be at hand at all times for people prone to anaphylaxis. Antihistamine is also a common medicine which is used for allergic reactions. Antihistamine, however, is not a substitute for epinephrine. Once you’ve had an allergic reaction, and perhaps a shot, be sure to visit the hospital to make sure your condition is under control.

No matter how severe or mild allergic reactions areHealth Fitness Articles, it is always important to have a plan.