The Facts About Food Allergy

Food allergies are a common type of ailment. Symptoms can run the gamut from mild rashes and stomach upset all the way to severe issues breathing.
January 3, 2013

Food allergies and sensitivities are a common type of ailment that affect millions of people worldwide. They can come attached to all kinds of items including seafood, nuts, and various grains.
Symptoms can run the gamut from mild rashes and stomach upset all the way to severe issues breathing.

Allergies are caused by the natural response of the body’s immune system to an allergen. They affect an estimated 1 in 100 adults and 1 and 20 children worldwide.

What Causes a Given Person to Have a Food Allergy?

Many people who suffer from food allergies inherited them and have at least one person in their immediate family who suffers from allergy-related issues. Such issues can include eczema, asthma, and severe seasonal allergy. One family member with such a condition increases a given person’s likelihood of developing a food allergy by up to 40%. Two or more family members raise the chances to as much as 80%.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

Symptoms of food allergy can really be quite severe and can vary from person to person. They can include skin rashes, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting, nausea, wheezing, asthma-like symptoms, hives, itching and burning of the mouth, and runny nose. The most severe allergies can cause anaphylactic shock which is life threatening.

Dealing With Food Allergy

The easiest way to deal with most food allergies whether they’re mild or severe is to simply avoid the food altogether. Get in the habit of reading labels carefully and asking about ingredients in restaurant dishes.

It’s also advisable if you think you may suffer from food allergies to visit with your doctor for a consultation. He or she can decide whether or not you should undergo more extensive allergy testing in order to identify other allergens you may be sensitive to in addition to the ones you know about.