Food Allergies Can Be Life Threatening

A food allergy is the body’s immune system reacting abnormally to food or drink consumed. The FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) estimates that 15 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to food or drink and one out of every thirteen children in the U.S. live with food allergies. These allergies affect the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract or cardiovascular systems. There are some foods which trigger reactions stronger than others. Also when on a diet routine you should find out all the needed information so that you can learn how to lose weight successfully while being safe. Below are eight of those foods you should be aware of :
* Eggs
* Wheat
* Soy
* Cow milk
* Shellfish
* Peanuts
* Fish
* Tree nuts

Reactions caused by allergies

The reactions one suffers vary from mild to severe. They may also be immediate upon consumption or take several hours to develop. An immune system can react to a small amount of allergen and can often be life threatening. Reactions to the respiratory system can be especially dangerous. People who suffer from asthma have an even greater risk of a fatal allergic reaction to food. Mild symptoms may include:
* Stuffy or runny nose
* Rash
* Stomach cramps
* Diarrhea
* Itchy, watery eyes
* Sneezing
* Swelling
Severe symptoms may include:
* Hives
* Dizziness or faintness
* Vomiting or nausea
* Difficulty breathing
* Swelling of lips, tongue or throat

Allergic reactions to eggs

Children are more susceptible to egg allergies. While some may outgrow the allergy others remain allergic to eggs their entire life. There are some who are only allergic to the yolk, some only to the whites and some to both. There is a certain protein in eggs that cause these reactions.

Allergic reaction to peanuts

One allergy that children seldom outgrow is one to peanuts. This allergy usually becomes a lifelong disorder and can be potentially dangerous. Peanuts are a common ingredient used in many snack foods, oils, candies and more and make the potential risk of coming into contact with them that much more likely. Anaphylaxis (restricted breathing) is rare; but can be a result of a person who is allergic to peanuts coming into contact with them. This possible reaction requires one who is severely allergic to carry an EpiPen with them at all times to administer a shot of epinephrine if a reaction starts to occur. If the EpiPen is necessary, the person should be watched for several hours to make sure reaction symptoms don’t return.

Allergic reaction to milk

Whey or casein is a protein found in cow’s milk and is responsible for many allergic reactions. This is different than lactose intolerance. Studies have found children who develop a reaction to cow milk are much more likely to develop allergies to; soy, peanuts and eggs. They have also been found to develop other diseases such as; eczema, asthma or allergic rhinitis.

How allergies are diagnosed

Depending on how severe one’s reactions are will determine the diagnosis. If the symptoms are mild then the doctor will probably recommend a food diary be kept to list all foods consumed to find which one is causing the reaction. If the symptoms are severe; skin or blood tests may be needed to find which one is causing the reaction.

Avoidance is the best practice once a food source for reactions is identified. When purchasing food from restaurants or grocery stores you will need to be aware of all ingredients used. Mild symptoms may respond to over-the-counter antihistamines; while more severe may respond to steroid medications, but these could also cause serious side-effects.

By Victor Brookshire