Allergic reactions occur in most people in one form or another. But among the most common types are food allergies, which cause adverse immune system reactions when you ingest a certain food protein. It can be as simple as peanuts, or even shrimp, but the basic principle of reactions is the same.
How The Body Reacts To Allergens In Food
How much the body will react when exposed to a food allergen ranges from mild irritation to anaphylaxis, which has the whole body reacting to the allergen and even possibly causing death.
Depending on the severity of your allergy, reaction to food allergens can occur from a few hours to even just a few seconds after ingestion of the food containing the allergen.
In some types of reactions, it may be that there is just some mild tissue swelling, being itchy and irritating at the most. Of course, the swelling varies, so it can also cause obstruction in the air tract and causing difficulty breathing.
Common Food Allergens
At over ninety percent of all causes of allergic reactions, the most common food allergens have the bulk of the attention given to food allergies.
They are divided into eight materials, and individually they are common enough that a person having an allergic reaction to these food materials better stay away from them to avoid having to undergo treatment.
Being allergic to milk is pretty common, and so are peanuts, eggs, soy, and wheat to name some. These are found in everyday food products that a person allergic to them will have to pay careful attention to what he or she is eating to avoid having an allergic reaction.
Seafood and shellfish are also quite common, though of course, its easier to spot these among the many food products out in everyday surroundings.
Diagnosis, Testing, And Treatment
If you suspect that you’re allergic to a certain food product, it would be best to consult an expert allergist. Your physician will be able to guide you in this area, and recommend someone you can go to. They can conduct tests to see what kind of material you’re allergic to.
One common testing method is the skin prick test to see if a person is allergic from the media being exposed below the skin. Another would be the blood test diagnosis for another type of allergen.
The final test type would be to have a blindfold test to see if the patient is allergic to the actual allergen or a placebo. This is usually conducted in the hospital setting where patients may be treated quickly if their reaction becomes severe.
Once a patient has been identified as having an allergic reaction to food products, several treatment options can be taken at this point.
There is no cure if you’re allergic to a certain food protein, and most doctors agree that injections or allergy shots don’t work for food allergies.
The surest method for treatment of food allergies is avoidance, and with this you’ll just have to learn which food your allergen is present in, and avoid it.
For accidental ingestions, epinephrine can be given to stabilize the patients system. Before you find yourself in this situation though, it would be best to make sure that you know just what to do before a severe reaction occurs.