4 Common Food Allergies and Their Symptoms

Food Allergies: Overview

4 Common Food Allergies and Their Symptoms

Any food allergy is the immune system’s response to certain food items. The most common food allergies can be caused due to intake of milk products, wheat, shellfish, and egg. However, the range and severity of allergies may vary from person to person. An allergy blood test should be conducted if any signs of a food allergy are being observed in an infant or young adult. 

Consumption of certain food items can sometimes lead to allergic reactions in a lot of people. This can occur in the form of skin rashes, trouble breathing, etc. However, if an individual is bloated or suffers from diarrhoea, then it is known as sensitivity or intolerance to a particular food item, often confused with a milk allergy. Keeping this in mind, it is important to note that food allergies and food intolerances are different concepts altogether. A person with a food allergy can have a very severe reaction that might lead to life-threatening scenarios if medical treatment is not provided in time. Thus, a blood test for food allergies is the best way to avoid such serious or damaging scenarios. Mentioned below are four of the most commonly found food allergies across the world along with its symptoms: 

1. Milk 

It has been observed that an allergy to milk, specifically cow’s milk, is very common among infants all over the world. More than two per cent of newly born babies are unable to digest milk properly. But this allergy is known to last for a short period. As the children grow, their bodies tend to accept milk too. For the ones who are unable to outgrow this allergy, symptoms such as swelling, rashes, hives, loose motions, vomiting, etc. occur after consuming milk or any of its by-products. In rare cases, anaphylaxis can occur as well. 

2. Wheat

Another food allergy that is very common among all races and communities is related to wheat. This reaction takes place in the immune system of some people as it considers the proteins found in wheat to be dangerous for the body. So, it tends to fight back the gluten almost immediately after consumption. Stomach upset, hives, inflammation, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing are clear indicators of this type of food allergy. 

3. Shellfish

The main cause of an allergic reaction to seafood, particularly crustacean and mollusc is known as a shellfish food allergy. As food allergies often derive from certain triggers, this particular one occurs due to a protein in shellfish called tropomyosin. Alongside this, arginine kinase and myosin light chain are other protein types that contribute to the immune system’s reaction as well. The immediate symptom of this allergy is a severe stomach pain. After a while, the individual can also suffer from diarrhoea and uncontrollable vomiting. Inflammation on the face and other body parts can surface too. As this particular allergy does not improve or eliminate itself over time, people should be avoiding shellfish consumption altogether. 

4. Egg

This food allergy that is very commonly found among young children and adolescents but goes undetected or misdiagnosed. While more than two-thirds of children outgrow egg allergy, there are a lot of cases which last for a lifetime. It is important to note that some individuals can be allergic to egg whites while others can have immune responses to egg yolks. This happens because of the variation in proteins found in these parts of the egg. Signs of an egg allergy are indigestion, vomiting, hives, and respiratory distress. 

Early detection of allergy blood test can help in avoiding the food item from an individual’s diet for avoiding severe reactions. Therefore, consulting a physician if any of the signs and symptoms occur in an infant or young adult is highly recommended.

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Aisha Kapoor
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