Many people know what allergies are and what it feels like to have one: an uncomfortable feeling accompanied by watery eyes and runny nose. Allergies are the immune system’s way of reacting to allergens– the substances that trigger an allergic reaction in foods or drinks. Food allergies are one of the most common health concerns and it affects almost everyone at some point.
Medicalnewstoday.com identified the most common allergenic foods or the “big eight” culprits for munchers: eggs, fish, milk, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soya, and wheat. Children are vulnerable to peanuts, milk, and wheat whereas adults are also predisposed to the same allergens, more so with citrus fruit and seafood.
WebMD.com points out that food allergies must not be misconstrued with food intolerance. The distinguishing feature here is that food allergy is a hypersensitivity, the immune system’s way of reacting against the allergens, whereas food intolerance does not account for the immune system and only affects the digestive system even though the manifestations are the same. Lactose intolerance, for example, is the inability to properly digest the milk; it is a far cry from being allergic to milk per se.
Healthline.com, an online health magazine details the symptoms of food allergies and the possible health risks that it can pose:
Symptoms of food allergies range from mild to severe and may come on suddenly or develop over several hours.
A person’s immune system may react to a very small amount of the allergen, food allergies are particularly dangerous and potentially life threatening. Because of this, people with asthma are at an increased risk for a fatal allergic reaction to food. Mild symptoms related to a food allergy may include: sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes, swelling, rash, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
If people think they have food allergies, it’s a good idea for them to seek advice from an Arizona allergies expert for proper medication. Experts from the likes of Allergy Arizona believe that allergic reactions can also be potentially fatal if not given immediate attention. If the symptoms are relatively mild, doctors usually suggest that the patient keep a food diary to record food intake and possibly identify the root cause.
“Health is wealth”, as the saying goes; this is a universal truth that has been proven since time immemorial. For help dealing with their allergies, people can turn to Arizona allergy and asthma experts. With their advice, they’ll be able to lead a fuller and worry-free life.
(Info from Common Food Allergies, Healthline, May 4, 2012)