To put it another way, allergic reactions to food involves two key components of the immune system. One component is a type of protein, an allergy antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which circulates through the blood. The other is the mast cell, a specialized cell that stores up histamine and is found in all tissues of the body. The mast cell is particularly found in areas of the body that are typically involved in allergic reactions, including the nose and throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract, thus causing you to sneeze in cases of mild allergic reactions.
All of the symptoms associated with an allergy of this type occur within the first few minutes to an hour of eating. Food allergy symptoms can include itching in the mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing. After eating, and during the digestion of the food, one may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. As a matter of reference, food intolerance and food allergy gastrointestinal symptoms are very similar and often confused, making an allergy from food seem like a food intolerance, such as lactose intolerance and such.
As we have previously mentioned, the food allergens are absorbed by the body and make their way into the bloodstream. When they eventually reach the skin, the allergens can induce hives or eczema, and when they reach the airways, they can cause asthma. As the allergens travel through the blood vessels, they may also cause lightheadedness, weakness, and anaphylaxis, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylactic reactions are severe even when they start off with mild symptoms, such as a tingling in the mouth and throat or discomfort in the abdomen. They can be fatal if not treated quickly as anaphylactic shock can occur.
People with more severe reactions to these types of allergies carry around syringes that carry epinephrine or an should carry an medical alert bracelet.
Although 25 percent of people think they’re allergic to certain foods, studies show that about only 6 to 8 percent of children under age 5 and 3 to 4 percent of adults have a food allergy. While there’s no known cure at this time, some children may outgrow it as they grow older.
Common Food AllergiesCurrently, the United States requires food manufacturers to list the eight most common ingredients that trigger food allergies through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most other developed nations have similar regulations in place. The eight foods that are included in the food allergy labeling are:
- Tree Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts)
- Fish (Bass, Cod, Flounder)
- Shellfish (Crab, Lobster, Shrimp)
Other allergies exist, for example, in Central Europe, celery allergy is more common, while in Japan, buckwheat flour (used in soba noodles) allergies are more common. Red meat allergies are very rare, however a small geographic cluster of people in Sydney, Australia is allergic to red meat. This seems to be associated with a tick bite reaction leading to the development of this rare allergy to red meat.
Corn allergies may also exist in many different areas, however it may be very difficult to recognize and isolate any areas, particularly in the US and Canada where corn derivatives are common ingredients in the food supply chain. It is rumored that fruit allergies also exist such as apple, peach, pear, jackfruit and strawberry allergies, however, they are extremely rare.
We hope that you aren’t affected by any of these uncommon or common food allergies, but if you are we hope this article helped you a little.