A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to the proteins of a particular food that has been consumed, causing large amounts of histamine to be produced by the body. Symptoms of food allergy may be subtle and slow to appear, but usually appear immediately after consuming the offending food. These symptoms include lowered blood pressure, shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the lips and throat, diarrhea and even anaphylaxis, which is when a person’s airway is compromised due to a severely swelled throat, preventing air from getting through, and can be life threatening if not treated promptly. The best way to treat most food allergies is to simply avoid the offending food. The following foods are 5 of the most common food allergies, and if food allergies run in your family and you haven’t been able to determine why you don’t feel well after eating, you might want to be tested for food allergies.
Peanuts – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may be delicious, but for many people who are allergic to peanuts, this food isn’t a possibility unless they substitute something similar for the peanut butter. According to Mayo Clinic doctors, peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis, which can cause not only difficulty breathing, but also a rapid and dangerous decrease in blood pressure (shock), dizziness, lightheadedness and loss of consciousness.
Eggs – eggs are a common ingredient in many foods, including cake and other baked goods, as well as a great deal of other recipes. Unfortunately, eggs are also a common allergy, but specialty stores and websites are making increasingly more products without eggs as well as creating egg substitutes.
Wheat – this food, also one of the more common food allergens, is in even more pre-packaged foods and recipes than eggs. Luckily manufacturers are realizing that a large amount of people suffer from wheat and gluten allergies and are taking the necessary steps to create alternatives. Many people with wheat allergies are able to buy breads and similar items baked using alternative flours that actually taste quite similar to wheat.
Soy – Although many people consider soy to be a health food, it also happens to be a common allergen. According to surveys conducted by the Mayo Clinic, more and more adults are developing soy allergies for some reason. If you have a soy allergy, you must ensure that you read labels on everything that you consume, since it can be a hidden ingredient in many different products.
Shellfish – Like the other most common allergies, shellfish can cause any number of symptoms, depending on the person, and can also result in anaphylaxis. Shellfish isn’t as difficult as the other foods to avoid, but if you accidentally consume something that has been cross-contaminated and you have an allergy to shellfish, you may need to seek treatment immediately, depending on your reaction.
Cleveland Clinic Food Allergy Information –
Mayo Clinic – Food allergy information –