Sometimes, we have a bad reaction to the foods that we eat. It may have something to do with the freshness or the preparation of the food. However, a bad reaction to a specific type of food every time you eat it may indicate a food allergy.
Approximately 32 million Americans have food allergies, including kids and adults of all ages. If a person is allergic to one type of food, it is highly likely that they are also allergic to other types of food. A food allergy is not to be taken lightly as an intolerance. Its symptoms can become life-threatening, which is why it’s important to know what foods you are allergic to, as this pertinent information could save your life.
Diagnosing a Food Allergy
If you are exposed to or eat food you are allergic to, it triggers an immunological response in your body — antibodies are released as your body’s way to defend itself from what it deems a threat. Your body releases histamines, which triggers a variety of symptoms. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on how allergic you are to the food in question. The allergic reaction may begin anywhere from a few minutes to an hour after exposure. People who have severe allergies can experience life-threatening reactions within minutes and need immediate treatment.
Common allergy to food symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cramps and diarrhea
- Hives and eczema
- Itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth
- Tightness in the throat
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing or asthma
- A decrease in blood pressure
A severe allergy attack can lead to anaphylactic shock, in which your blood pressure drops so low that you don’t get enough oxygen. This type of allergy is considered the most serious and requires immediate treatment.
Common Food Allergies For Kids and Adults
So, what are the most common foods that many Americans, both kids, and adults, are allergic to? Approximately 90 percent of food allergies are caused by the consumption of:
- Tree Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachio, and hazelnuts)
While some children outgrow allergies to some foods, many are lifelong allergy sufferers. With food allergies on the rise, educating yourself on your allergies and seeing an allergist can help you avoid experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. The first step is to figure out what exactly you are allergic to. Then, it is important to determine if your body’s allergic response is life-threatening. Based on these factors, your allergist will suggest a treatment plan in case you are exposed to your allergen and a guide on how to avoid your allergens in the first place.
Food Allergy Treatment in Illinois
Oak Book Allergists is a leading expert in everything that has to do with allergies. We treat pediatric and adult patients for all types of allergies in our four locations in Illinois.
To schedule a consultation with our talented and friendly allergists, call (630) 574-0460 or request an appointment by filling out a patient form.