Allergies are triggered by different allergens; and one such allergen is the food that you eat. Some people experience allergic reactions to food because of a substance found in the food. Generally, there is more than one allergen in food. Allergic reactions to food are usually mild; but there are some people who may suffer from severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Any part of the body can be affected by symptoms of allergic reactions to food which includes the skin, heart, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems.
In some people, the symptoms occur within minutes of consuming the triggering food while in others, it may take several hours for the symptoms to materialize. The symptoms that are associated to allergic reactions to food include swelling of the lips, tongue, face and throat, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, rashes which are usually itchy, abdominal cramps, vomiting and tingling sensations in the mouth.
Sometimes, these allergic reactions to food may become severe and lead to anaphylaxis where there is a rapid drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can be fatal if not treated immediately with an injection of epinephrine or adrenaline. Sometimes, this anaphylactic shock may be mild at first. So be careful and don’t underestimate the dangers of this allergic reaction. Those suffering from asthma are most likely to suffer from a severe anaphylactic shock to the lungs.
The most common foodstuffs that bring about anaphylaxis are eggs, fish, milk and peanuts. Sometimes even shellfish, nuts and sesame seeds also cause allergic reactions to food. It is not possible to compare food intolerance and food allergy as both are different entities. A small amount of food is sufficient to trigger a food allergy while larger amounts of food are needed to exhibit food intolerance.
Some foods, especially fruits and vegetables may cause reactions like itching and rashes when the food touches the lips and mouth. This is referred to as oral allergy syndrome and is a form of food allergy. Those who are sensitive to pollen and plants in the daisy family are most prone for this syndrome because of the proteins found in these pollens. However by cooking, it is possible to destroy the allergens causing these reactions.
Some people tend to suffer from allergic cross reactions where an allergy to one thing may lead to reactions with other things. This is because different foods contain the same allergens. It is even possible for one to suffer from allergic cross reactions when avoiding foods they are allergic to and can occur between fruits or vegetables and latex.