Food allergies can either be mild or serious and occur when the immune system considers proteins present in food as a threat. There are certain foods that are associated with most food allergies, although food allergies can be caused by just about any food. Some of these “high allergy” foods include eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, crustaceans, shellfish and tree nuts (like brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios and almonds) as well as others. In infants, food allergies can manifest in the form of eczema.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
Allergic reactions generally occur two hours or more after ingesting a particular food. Some of the common symptoms of an allergic reaction to food include:
- Raised itchy red rash (hives or urticaria)
- Abdominal pain
- A hoarse voice
- Itchy sensation inside ears, throat and mouth.
- Swelling of the face particularly the area around the lips, eyes, tongue, lips as well as roof of the mouth.
- Nasal congestion
There is no cure for food allergies and avoidance of the offending foods are recommended. In most instances, patients suffering from food allergies should carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of a reaction or accidental ingestion. This is crucial during an allergic emergency.
Ultimately, the best strategy for food allergies is to eliminate the foods you are allergic to. In order to confirm food allergies, you should consult with an allergist who is trained to evaluate and treat all kinds of allergies, including food allergies. He or she will test you and counsel you on the foods you will need to avoid.