The number of individuals experiencing food allergy is on the rise, and food allergy appears to be more common among children than adults. Millions of Americans have food allergies, but the condition still remains a mystery. However, food allergy is having a real impact on the life of those who have to deal with the problem. There is no cure for food allergy, and so, a lot of the effort is directed towards treating and managing the symptoms. It’s essential to know about food allergies to keep the allergy sufferer safe daily.
A food allergy can be described as a medical condition in which food exposure triggers a specific and harmful immune response or an allergic reaction that results because the immune system attacks harmless proteins (called allergens) in the food. Food allergy symptoms can range from mild, like developing hives, to severe that features difficulty breathing. Common food allergy symptoms include eczema flare, itchy mouth, hives, hives, nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and nasal congestion. A more serious allergic reaction could be anaphylaxis that is typically sudden after exposure and can lead to death.
Foods to Which People are Allergic
Many different foods have been reported to trigger allergic reactions, however in the U.S., of the more than 170 foods reported, eight food allergens are responsible for most of the allergy reactions. These are the egg, milk, peanut and tree nuts, soy, wheat, crustacean shellfish, and fish. Still, just about any food can cause an allergic reaction if the immune system responds to it as a threat to the body.
Treat Serious Allergic Reactions Immediately
At the first sign of anaphylaxis, start treatment immediately with the drug epinephrine (adrenaline), which should be administered within minutes, the symptoms appear. It is possible that more than a single dose is required in some instances. Delayed treatment with epinephrine increases the risk of death, which can happen at any age. In many cases, fatal food allergy reactions occur when food is eaten outside of the home.
Is there a Cure?
At present, no cure exists for food allergy, but it can be managed. This is done by avoiding the foods that can trigger an allergic reaction, learning to spot the symptoms, and treating the symptoms when they appear. There have been reported instances of children outgrowing a food allergy, but some allergy, like peanut, is typically lifelong. Still, there is research work being done in hopes of finding a permanent solution.
Food allergy is a growing problem that appears to affect children disproportionately. An allergic reaction can manifest symptoms that are mild or severe or sign that can even be life-threatening at worst. While there is no cure currently, it’s best to be vigilant and avoid the foods that are a problem.