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Food Allergy Treatment

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Basics About Food Allergies
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body's immune system. Food allergies can start even as early as in infancy and are caused by an immune system malfunction. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious illness or even death. Tree nuts and peanuts are the leading causes of deadly allergic reactions called anaphylaxis.
In adults, the foods that most often trigger allergic reactions include:
  • Fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster and crab
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts, such as walnuts
  • Eggs
    Problem foods for children are eggs, milk (especially in infants and young children) and peanuts.
    Food Intolerance:
    Sometimes a reaction to food is not an allergy. It is often a reaction called "food intolerance". Your immune system does not cause the symptoms of food intolerance. However, these symptoms can look and feel like those of a food allergy.
    Ref: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    Food Allergy Symptoms
    There are primarily eight foods that account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions. These are: milk, egg, peanut, tree nut (walnut, cashew, etc.), fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Although an individual could be allergic to any food, such as fruits, vegetables, and meats also.
    Severity of allergic reactions:
  • Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe, potentially fatal, systemic allergic reaction that can involve various areas of the body (such as the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system).
  • The most common allergic skin reaction to a food is hives. Hives are red, very itchy, swollen areas of the skin that may arise suddenly and leave quickly. They often appear in clusters, with new clusters appearing as other areas clear. Hives may occur alone or with other symptoms.
  • Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, a skin condition characterized by itchy, scaly, red skin, can be triggered by food allergy. This reaction is often chronic, occurring in individuals with personal or family histories of allergies or asthma.
  • Asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing due to narrowed airways, may be triggered by food allergy, especially in infants and children.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms of food allergy include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping, and sometimes a red rash around the mouth, itching and swelling of the mouth and throat, abdominal pain, swelling of the stomach and gas.
    Treatment of Food Allergy Symptoms With Nutrition
    If you suffer from a food allergy, avoiding the food or products containing that food is the best way to prevent a reaction. If however, your doctor is able to identify and confirm exactly which type of food causes your allergies, than you only need to eliminate that food item from your diet.
    Food Allergies / Food Intolerance
    When To Seek Medical Advice!
    An allergist/immunologist is the best qualified professional to diagnose and provide relief from food allergy symptoms. Diagnosis of a food allergy requires a carefully organized and detailed assessment of the food allergy symptoms by process of elimination or testing.
    In severe cases, consuming a food to which one is allergic can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis- a systemic allergic reaction that can be severe and sometimes fatal. The first signs of anaphylaxis may be a feeling of warmth, flushing, tingling in the mouth or a red, itchy rash. Other symptoms may include feelings of light-headedness, shortness of breath, severe sneezing, anxiety, stomach or uterine cramps, and/or vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, patients may experience a drop in blood pressure that results in a loss of consciousness and shock. Without immediate treatment, anaphylaxis may cause death.
    At A Glance - Food Allergy Treatment
    Basics About Food Allergies
    Food Intolerance
    Food Allergy Symptoms
    Treatment of Food Allergy Symptoms With Nutrition
    Food Allergies / Food Intolerance
    References For Food Allergy Treatment
    Symptoms of anaphylaxis are reversed by treatment with injectable epinephrine, antihistamines, and other emergency measures.
    It is essential that anyone with symptoms suggesting possible anaphylaxis get emergency treatment immediately.
    References For Food Allergy Treatment
    Download newsletter on food allergies in children:
    Focus On Children's Food Allergies
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