Food allergy symptoms can be quite uncommon. You might not believe this but only 1 out of 70 adults suffer from true food allergies. Food poisoning or even food intolerance is sometimes mistaken for a food allergy because of the similarities in symptoms. If you are unsure if you are allergic to a particular food, you should learn to decipher what classic food allergy is.
Mostly affecting children, food allergy is an illness where the body’s immune system defends itself from a substance that it considers to be harmful. The allergic reaction experienced is the sign that the body is trying to overcome the allergy-causing substance. Doctors usually run test to determine and confirm your food allergies. They might even ask you questions regarding your family’s general health since food allergy is thought to be partly hereditary. If your doctor finds a history of eczema, hay fever or asthma, then you have a higher risk of having a food allergy.
A true allergic reaction usually starts with swelling and itching in the throat, tongue and mouth. Other food allergy symptoms include skin reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, wheezing, runny nose and sore, red and itchy eyes. An allergic reaction could begin the moment you ingest the food you are allergic to. The symptoms, however, could take longer to develop, sometimes even several hours. An anaphylactic shock is the worst possible allergic reaction. It could cause severe swelling, unconsciousness, lowering of the blood pressure and breathing difficulties. If not given proper medical attention, it could possibly lead to death. As you can see, it’s important to deal with food allergy symptoms right away.
Foods that cause allergy include peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish. Some children develop allergies to cow’s milk, soya, eggs, wheat and seafood. If you have an allergy to a particular food, you could also have a reaction to other allergy-causing food. This is called cross-reactivity. Your dietician and physician could help you identify which foods to avoid and prevent allergic reactions.
If you are still unsure if you have a food allergy, you should consult a doctor specializing on allergies. You would be asked questions pertaining to the symptoms you experience after eating a certain food, amount of the particular food you ate, preparation and storage of the food, medication you took to relieve the symptoms and effectivity of the medication. All these can help diagnose your food allergy.
It is very important that you see a food allergy specialist. You must never, under any circumstances, try to determine the food you are allergic to on your own. You must remember that allergic reactions can be severe and you might be putting yourself in a very dangerous situation. If you’re allergic to something and you tamper with it, your body can react in bad ways.
Skin prick tests are sometimes used to diagnose a food allergy. A small amount of food extract is injected on the skin surface. An allergic reaction to that food extract will result to swelling and redness of the injection site. Sometimes, a false positive reaction is observed from a skin prick test. It would be wise to perform other tests, like a blood test for instance, to confirm food allergy and complete diagnosis.