Understanding Food Allergies–What Are They?
Food allergies affect millions of people all over the world.
These are not simple day-to-day fears, like fearing that you might eat some bad food and get sick. A food allergy causes your body to react in a very negative way when it encounters the particular food that is causing the allergic reaction. In very severe cases, it could even cause death if the person suffering from the allergy does not receive prompt medical attention.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, then it is important to learn as much as possible about food allergies so that you can take steps to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring in the first place. Read on to learn more about the cause of food allergies and how to treat them.
What Are the Most Common Food Allergies and Reactions?
There are many different types of food allergies that can occur in individuals of any age. The most common types include reactions to eggs, soy, wheat (gluten), tree nuts and peanuts, seafood, and milk. However, for some people, even seemingly harmless foods like strawberries or kiwi can cause an allergic reaction.
After the ingestion of the allergen symptoms may include abdominal cramps or diarrhea, skin rashes, hives, itchy or sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, low blood pressure when standing up, and swelling around the eyes.
Are Allergies Genetic or Environmental?
Allergies can be caused by genetic factors or environmental triggers. The type of allergen that you are allergic to, and your genes play a major role in determining whether allergies are inherited or not. In some cases, environmental factors such as pollution and smoke exposure can cause sensitization to an allergen and trigger an allergic reaction. Understanding the various causes of allergies is essential to managing symptoms effectively.
Chances of Resolving an Existing Allergy
When it comes to food allergies, there is currently no cure. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with your allergy forever. In fact, many people who have food allergies can eventually resolve them. One study found that about 20 percent of children with food allergies outgrew their allergy by age 16. And while that may seem like a small percentage, keep in mind that food allergies are often more severe in children than adults.
So, if you’re an adult with a food allergy, your chances of outgrowing it are even higher. There are also some promising new treatments for food allergies under development. For example, immunotherapy can help to desensitize your body to the allergen and is currently being tested in clinical trials. If you’re living with a food allergy, know that there is hope for resolution. Whether it happens naturally or through treatment, it is possible to one day live allergy-free.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergies
Food allergies can be difficult to diagnose, as they often exhibit a similar set of symptoms. However, there are several tests that doctors may conduct to help determine if someone has an allergy or an intolerance to certain substances. Some common methods used to test for allergies and intolerances include allergy skin testing, blood tests, and elimination diets.
Once a diagnosis is made, the appropriate treatment plan can be put into place. Overall, it is important for those with suspected allergies or intolerances to work closely with their health care providers so that they can get on the path to better health.
Managing and Preventing Allergies with the help of the Allergy & Asthma Specialists
At Allergy & Asthma Specialists, all physicians are board-certified in allergy and immunology and can help you identify triggers and learn to control your symptoms. Call (866) 966-0583 or visit the website for an appointment or to learn more about available services.
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