Do You Know the Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Intolerance?
Did you know that 6-8 % of children under the age of three and 2% of adults suffer from allergies to food ? If after eating a certain food and you start getting a reaction to it, you could possibly have a food allergy.
Food allergies are highly possible, but health care professionals diagnose people less frequently than you’d think. When you are allergic to a food , you will have an abnormal reaction to the food, being set off by your body’s immune system. Some allergic reactions are so severe they can cause death or a very serious illness.
Some reactions you have to a food could be food intolerance and not a true food allergy. Intolerance to food is a lot more common than allergies to food. Symptoms can mimic those of a food allergy.
If you have a reaction to food caused by an allergy , it can start within just a few minutes up to an hour after eating it. Itching may start and be one of the first signs, in your mouth as you are eating the food. When your stomach starts digesting that food , you could get gastrointestinal problems like, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. Once the food breaks down and starts to go through the blood stream, your blood pressure could become lower. Once the allergic food gets into your skin it could start causing hives all over. You could also develop breathing problems once it reaches your lungs.
Your physician can give you information on avoiding certain foods and similar foods, if you have had a life threatening reaction to a certain food.
Several people are extremely allergic to seafood like shrimp, lobster, crab, halibut, swordfish, and crayfish. If you are diagnosed with an allergy to seafood, even if it’s only one kind of seafood, be careful when eating others in the same family they could cause an allergic response too.
The most common allergies to food are eggs, Tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, shrimp, crab, crayfish, and lobster. Children are more allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts. Nuts from trees and peanuts can cause a very serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Allergies usually stay with you for life if you’re an adult, but if you’re a child you could outgrow your food allergies in time.
Food Intolerance can resemble an allergy to food. This reaction is called a “histamine toxicity”. Lactose intolerance is often mistaken for a food allergy. 1 out of 10 people are found to be lactose intolerant. Your physician can run a test and see if you truly are lactose intolerant or allergic. Your physician may also want you to keep a food journal where you write down everything you eat and how it affected you.
An elimination diet is also a great idea, just eliminate your bothersome foods out of your diet. Do not eat the food again
Your physician can run a skin scratch test on you. This will let him know exactly what your allergies to food are . It’s done on the skin of your lower arm, an extract of the food or food is applied to the surface of your arm. The physician will scratch this area of your skin with a needle, if swelling or redness develops this lets him know you do have an allergy to that certain food. It’s simple and quick and you find right then and there. Always read the labels on food packaging and make sure you know exactly what is in their.
If your child has a bad food allergy, be sure to talk to all his teachers , lunch people, principle and whoever else you think needs to know about his certain allergies. This will help him to avoid this certain thing.
Keeping yourself educated about food allergies and intolerance can help you and your children have a healthier more enriched life.