Friday, March 27, 2009

Things You Need To Know About Food Allergies

Food allergies or food intolerance occur when people have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate. Food allergies are the result of the immune system mistakenly recognizing certain foods as dangerous substances and starts responding against them.

Nearly everyone is affected with this at some point in their lives. Symptoms can be as mild as skin rash, vomiting and diarrhea or as serious as anaphylaxis, which constricts the airways and requires immediate medical attention.

According to studies, food-based allergic reactions start at the early age of life, wherein some of the effects can be resolved over time. However, other food reactions acquired in infancy typically persist through life.

Here is the list of the eight common foods which cause almost 90 percent of food allergies:
  1. Peanuts
  2. Eggs
  3. Milk
  4. Shellfish
  5. Wheat
  6. Tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  7. Soy
  8. Fish
At this point, no studies can conclude why certain children develop allergies; what is known is that heredity is a factor: when you have food allergies, your child will most likely have them as well.

Exposing your children to different solid foods may boost their tolerance later in life. But remember: when you begin to introduce solid foods to your toddler, do so one at a time. This way, you'll find out which foods he/she can tolerate and which are rejected.

And if you’re an adult suffering from food allergies, take note of the following:
  • Strictly avoid the food you are allergic to, including any related products.
  • Diligently read food labels (hidden ingredients, particularly those containing wheat and peanuts, can be lurking anywhere). The Food and Drug Administration requires that at least the top eight allergens must be clearly stated on food labels).
  • Let the server in a restaurant know you absolutely cannot have certain ingredients.
  • For those with severe food allergies, remember to always carry a self-injectable epinephrine (often called an Epipen) in case of emergency.

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