Food Allergies…Do You Have Them?

Someone once said, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”.  Today, we are going to explore this  idea, to see what the most common food allergies are as well as take a look into food allergy symptoms  and what you can do if you think you have food allergies.

Most Common Food Allergies (according to The Eight Most Common Food Allergies by Jeanette Bradley):

This list accounts for 50-90% of food allergies in the U.S.
There are many other food allergies as well:
  •  Sulfite Allergies: Sulfites (or sulphites) describe a group of compounds containing the SO32- ion. At times they can be naturally occurring, however they can also be added to food as a preservative.
  • Alcohol Allergies: Most alcoholic beverages are distilled or condensed and evaporated. These beverages are usually but not always made with barely, wheat, and/or rye. This means that alcohol has gluten in it, which can be very harmful for people with Celiac Disease or a wheat allergy.
  • The list could go on and on…

What are some other food allergies that you or your family experience?

Common Symptoms:

Mild Allergy Symptoms: (symptoms stay localized in one part of the body)

  • Rash
  • Localized itching
  • Congestion

Moderate Allergy Symptoms: (symptoms spread to other areas of body)

  • Widespread itching
  • Difficulty breathing

Severe Allergy Symptoms: (Anaphylaxis- sudden, life-threatening emergency in which the body’s response to the allergen affects the whole body.)

  • Itching of eyes or face
  • Varying degrees of swellings that can make breathing and swallowing difficult
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mental confusion or dizziness
Have you ever experienced an allergic reactions with any of the above symptoms?
As a parent, it’s important to know what symptoms to look for in your children.  An April article, from Delicious Living, outlines 7 Signs Your Child May Have a Food Intolerance.  The seven signs include:
  • Spitting up
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Chronic Ear Infections
  • Eczema or itchy skin rash
  • Hyperactivity
  • Crankiness
  • Small stature or picky palate

How Do I Know If I Have Food Allergies?

  • Visit a Doctor or Allergist
  • Get Tested (Four Test Options):
  1. Prick Tests or Scratch Test: The allergist tests a number of allergens on the thin skin of the forearm or the back. A positive test will show as a hive, or wheal. An inconclusive prick test will usually be followed by a more sensitive test.
  2. RAST Tests or radioallergosorbent: This is a blood test that tests for IgE antibodies. This test is performed on people who may suffer from severe eczema or another skin condition or where exposing the patient to an allergen might be unnecessarily risky.
  3. Elimination Diet:  This is a diet that begins with a limited set of foods that are deemed unlikely to cause a reaction. Other foods are added one by one over a period of days or weeks.
  4. Oral Food Challenge: A potentially dangerous option that is performed under close medical supervision. A patient will ingest the suspected allergen while being observed by a doctor, which will then be able to conclusively document the allergic reaction.

Food Allergies are very serious and sometimes life threatening matter.  Please do not put off visiting the doctor or being test for your food allergies.  

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