An abnormal and a very delicate reaction by the body’s immune system are termed as “Allergy”. This undesirable reaction is caused by a particular substance in the environment which usually causes little or no problem with most of the people.
Kids and adults alike can develop food allergies, though infants and children are more at risk of developing these. However, a lot of times kids can outgrow these allergies in later stages of their lives.
Similarly, a grown up adult can very much develop an allergy to a particular food he may have been consuming for years without any trouble.
The most common food items known to cause allergic reactions are:
· Tree Nuts
The symptoms of food allergies can vary from mild reactions to life-threatening situations. Commonly reported symptoms of are:
· Nausea and Vomiting
· Abdominal cramps
· Skin rashes
· Anaphylaxis: life-threatening condition which causes a rapid drop in the blood pressure and can impair breathing leading to loss of life.
One can experience any or a couple of these symptoms within two hours of consuming the allergenic food. However, in some cases, these symptoms may surface within minutes of ingestion.
A doctor may diagnose the allergy depending upon the patients’ response to what has he consumed, the quantity of the particular food item consumed, how long after consuming it that the symptoms started appearing and how long did they last. The doctor may also resort to various tests like the Skin Prick Test or a Blood Test to ascertain the cause of Allergy.
Regarding its cure, there are no known drugs or medical treatments to cure these food allergies. For food allergies, prevention is the cure. The best way for a person is to avoid consumption of food items known to cause allergy to him. Also, awareness is the key here. One needs to be aware of Cross-Reactivity, which is a reaction to related food. For instance, a kid allergic to cow’s milk may also be allergic to goat or sheep’s milk.
While consuming packaged food, one should clearly read the ingredients so as to be sure of not consuming anything which may cause this allergic reaction. Also, caution needs to be exercised while eating out or ordering from food joints. The exclusions of particular food items must be clearly communicated.
Especially, for kids, one must highlight the food allergies to their teachers, friends and whoever looks after them.
For highly sensitive cases, the person should carry the doctor prescribed Epinephrine, which is the first line of treatment for such severe conditions.
A study published by American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that by delaying introducing solids to very young babies can reduce their chances of developing allergies. It also recommends exclusive breast feeding for as long as possible to strengthen their immune systems. Eating healthy is the best treat and the first level respect you can give to your health, try it now and you will always like it.