Food Allergies

Protect Yourself from Dangerous Food Allergies

Food allergies are a body's reaction to the chemical mixture contained in food that you introduce to your body's natural chemical make-up. After all, an allergy is a way of your body telling you that your body is rejecting the elements that you are placing into it because there is an imbalance. Many people mistakenly think they have a food allergy when they have a negative reaction to something they ate; however, this is more likely intolerance as opposed to an actual allergy.

A food allergy is a specific reaction in the immune system that is an abnormal response to the ingestion of food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Its symptoms are often specific and characteristic. A food intolerance, which is much more common, can develop from diseases or other bodily issues that are not related to the immune system - where a food allergy occurs.

It is important that food allergies are identified as soon as possible so that they can be prevented before becoming fatal. While most food allergies are mild, there are many instances when they have caused an untimely death.

Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal allergic reaction that comes on suddenly, causing a dangerous in blood pressure and takes place system-wide in the body - respiratory tract, skin, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system) and is usually severe, and can be fatal. All of the symptoms of a food allergy usually occur within in few minutes of eating; however, some reactions can take as long as an hour to show up. Symptoms can initially be experienced as an itching in the mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

While there is no specific list of food allergens, there are many that are considered to be the most commonly known: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, cashews), fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Treatment

There is no definite way to treat an allergic reaction to the point where it is gone from the body permanently, however, prevention can help. Avoiding the foods that cause the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction can help, however it may be inevitable that an allergy sufferer will come into contact with the foods that cause the reactions.

Many food allergy sufferers carry an emergency injection of adrenaline (epinephrine) with them at all times which can be life saving. Antihistamines may also help relieve discomfort for mild reactions, as well as certain body lotions and oils. Antihistamines will generally treat less severe allergies, such as poison ivy. Antihistamines are meant to be ingested after the body is exposed to the allergen. Once the chemical reaction begins to counteract the chemical reaction in the allergen, the body will begin to be restored to its natural state. Creams may relieve skin reactions.

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