A food allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a food that has a particular protein found in it. The protein, an allergen, is relatively harmless, but your immune system will overreact to it. Even just in contact with a tiny amount of food can lead to symptoms. It is important to take food allergies very seriously as small contact can be life-threatening.
Food allergies are usually first diagnosed at a young age, but it is still possible to appear later in older children and adults.
Eight foods are responsible for the majority of allergic reactions:
• Cow’s milk
• Tree nuts
These eight foods are responsible for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions.
Seeds such as sesame and mustard seeds are also common food allergy triggers as the ones listed above.
Food Intolerance and Food Allergy
The symptoms of both food intolerance and food allergy are very similar, and many that think they are allergic to a certain food are actually just intolerant to it. You can know if you are allergic to a certain food, as an allergen triggers a response in the immune system when you are allergic to a food. People must be very careful with food allergies, as this reaction compared to other allergic reactions, such as pollen, can be very life-threatening.
Diagnosing Food Allergies
Allergic reactions can be different for everyone, in terms of both impact and reaction time. Common symptoms can include the allergic food affecting the skin, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular system. As food allergies can potentially be fatal, it is always recommended to take precautions if you think you or your child has a food allergy by seeing an allergist to take a test to see if you have food allergies.