Discover the most common food allergies and what to do if you or a loved one has an allergic reaction
Did you know that food allergies are not just diagnosed in childhood, and you can develop a food allergy at any age, even to food you have eaten before? Well, it is true, and food allergy diagnoses are more common than many think.
Food allergies are our immune system’s reaction to after eating a certain food and our bodies identify the proteins as harmful. Just like you can be diagnosed with a food allergy at any age, as the years pass those diagnosed with a certain food allergy may go away or subside. About 32 million Americans are affected by food allergies. Any food can cause food allergies, however, there are four that make up the most common allergic foods.
For people who have a food allergy, even exposure to very small amounts of the problem food can cause a severe allergic reaction that can even lead to death.
Symptoms of Allergic Reaction to Food
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to food usually occur within minutes of exposure to the food item. They may include:
- Extreme swelling of the mouth, tongue, and face
- Trouble breathing
- Itchy hives or rash on the skin
4 Most Common Food Allergies
1. Cow Milk
Milk allergies are more commonly seen in infants and children. This allergy is commonly outgrown in adulthood; however, some may keep the allergy forever. The common symptoms of cow milk allergy are hives and vomiting. Most allergic to cow milk settle for non-dairy alternatives to substitute for cow milk.
Shellfish causes the greatest number of allergic reactions due to its large list of items is consist of. Also, some people may be allergic to some shellfish and fine to eat others. Shellfish consist of popular food items like shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, and more.
Peanuts are associated with the largest number of life-threatening allergic reactions because peanut allergies cause anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is the over-release of chemicals in the body that causes shock in the body and the symptoms of trouble breathing, swelling, tightness of the throat, and rapid heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest.
4. Tree Nuts
Tree nuts are commonly confused with peanuts, but tree nuts grow on trees. These nuts are known as walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and pistachios. They also lead to an anaphylaxis reaction.
What to Do if You have an Allergic Reaction
It is important that if you or a loved one suffer from a food allergy, to be highly aware of the food you may come in contact with. Always act with concern, as some allergies can be deadly. Reading the food label or asking the chef what ingredients were used to make the food are degrees of caution one should take.
Also, no matter how cautious you may be for an allergic reaction, you still never know when an accidental encounter may happen. If you have a food allergy, whether mild or severe, you should carry epinephrine auto-injector pens. These tools can be life-saving for allergic reactions.
If you or a loved one find yourself in a serious allergic reaction to food and need immediate medical attention, Alexandria Emergency Hospital has you covered. Our team of expert physicians quickly subside your symptoms and get you feeling better than ever. Open 24/7/365, come in and experience exceptional emergency medical care!
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Alexandria Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.