Allergies are pretty much troublesome and thousands of people suffer from them. There is an equal number of treatment methods for these allergies, but food allergies are even more troublesome. Intolerance to some food can be a serious problem, especially if you are not aware of the allergy.
We all probably know someone who claims to be allergic to some food. On one hand, the majority of these people are not allergic to food, but express food intolerance, which is not the same thing. On the other hand, 8 percent of children and up to 3 percent of all adults do have allergies to food and these conditions can be severe.The movie scenes when the guys struggle to breathe few minutes after eating candy with peanuts are in fact pretty realistic.
Due to unknown reasons, the immune system of some people reacts excessively in contact with some allergens from food leading to localized or generalized inflammation in the body. This usually presents as digestive problems, narrowing of airways or hives and rashes. In the worst scenario, some people react extremely intensive and fall into so-called anaphylactic shock, which an emergency situation.
The food allergy presents in various ways
Not all the people experience dramatic symptoms, but some of them resemble the “peanut guy” from movie scenes. The reaction starts few minutes to two hours after ingesting discriminated food, and it usually can be easily associated with the food. The most common picture includes itching or hives, numbness or swelling of lips, tongue, face or throat.
Furthermore, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are frequent, as well as various neurologic symptoms. If anaphylaxis happens, the patient is in severe danger and life threatening situation. The vital organs are dysfunctioning, airways are swollen, and the patient suffocates. The heart pumps rapidly and sometimes irregularly, blood pressure drops and the last stage provokes brain symptoms.
Should you call for doctor’s help?
Food allergy usually affects children, but it can happen at any age, as a reaction to a wide range of foods. It can be even triggered by the food you haven’t been allergic to so far. If the symptoms show up few minutes or hours after digesting certain food, and it happens to be your first time to experience this condition, you should see the doctor determine what triggered your reaction. The ideal is to see the doctor immediately while the symptoms are still obvious. Of course, in the case of any intensive sign, such as rapid pulse, a sudden drop of blood pressure or dizziness and vomiting, see the doctor right away.
What therapy options are there?
The actual cure doesn’t exist. The only certain way to protect yourself is to know precisely what foods to avoid and stick to that rule. Even this won’t keep you safe from accidental contact with some ingredients.
If the reaction occurs in the form of minor reaction, symptoms can be suppressed by OTC antihistamines. When the reaction is severe, it requires full medical health care, including epinephrine, corticosteroids, bronchodilators and many other drugs if needed.
Small lifestyle tricks can help a lot
Food allergy is a lifetime commitment, and it can be quite burdensome. For a beginning, get all the information you need, but make sure to get it from a reliable source.
Even the smallest amount of troubling food can cause trouble. So, don’t assume the ingredients. Read the food labels carefully and don’t take risks if you’re not sure about all compounds.