Food Allergies

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Food Allergies

A food allergy refers to an immune system response that happens shortly after eating a specific food. Even a tiny amount of the food that causes the allergy can trigger signs and symptoms such as swollen airways and digestive problems. In some instances, you may experience severe and potentially life-threatening reactions to a food allergy, a condition known as anaphylaxis. Food allergies affect both children and adults. Although food allergies have no known cure, most children outgrow their allergies. You can easily confuse a food allergy with the more common food intolerance. However, food intolerance is less severe and does not involve the immune system. If you think you have suffered a food allergy, you should consider visiting a medical professional specializing in food allergies in Gilbert for proper diagnosis and medication.

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Symptoms

In some patients, a food allergy can cause significant discomfort but may not be severe. In other patients, a food allergy can be pretty scary and life-threatening. Usually, you will develop symptoms of the food allergy within 2 hours of eating the trigger food. Common symptoms of a food allergy include:

  • Itching or tingling in the mouth cavity
  • Hives, itching, or eczema
  • Swollen lips, tongue, throat, face, and other body parts
  • Nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

You may experience highly severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis due to a food allergy. It can result in severe and life-threatening symptoms such as tightening the airways, a swollen throat that makes it difficult to breathe, an extreme drop in blood pressure after a weak pulse, and loss of consciousness.

For anaphylaxis, they should seek emergency treatment as it can potentially cause a coma or death. You should consider visiting an allergist if you develop symptoms of food allergy shortly after eating. If possible, see your doctor while the allergy happens so they can make a conclusive diagnosis.

Causes

Food allergies result from your body mistakenly identifying a particular food or an element in food as a harmful substance. As a result, your immune system triggers cells to produce an antibody referred to as immunoglobulin to neutralize the allergen. The next time you eat the same food, even in a small amount, the antibodies will identify it and trigger the production of histamine by your immune system. Together with other chemicals, histamine finds its way into your bloodstream, causing allergy symptoms.

Among adults, food allergies mainly come from specific proteins found in foods such as shellfish, including lobster, crab, and shrimp. Peanuts, tree nuts and fish also contain proteins that can trigger food allergies in adults. Food allergies are mainly caused by proteins found in tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, and soy in children.

You can also experience pollen food allergy syndrome where fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, or spices cause itching or tingling in your mouth. The syndrome can cause swelling of the throat and even anaphylaxis.

A food allergy is an immune system response that happens shortly after eating a specific food. Common symptoms of food allergies occur within 2 hours of eating the food, including itching or tingling in the mouth, swollen lips, throat and face, and nasal congestion. Food allergies can also cause anaphylaxis. A food allergy happens when your immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food or food substance as an allergen triggering the production of an antibody.

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