Food allergies are one of the most common problems faced by children and adults. Studies predict that about 5% of adults and 8% of children are affected by food allergies. In this article, we will look into some of the most common food allergens, their symptoms, and treatment.
What is a food allergy?
Food allergy is said to occur when on the consumption of a specific food, your body triggers an abnormal immune response. Your system recognizes this food as a threat and triggers protective measures which can cause different types of reactions in the body.
Symptoms of Food Allergy
The symptoms of allergies can begin anywhere within minutes of ingesting the particular food, to an hour or more after taking the food. Some of the mild symptoms include:
- Swelling of lips, mouth, and tongue
Some of the more severe reactions include:
- Low blood pressure
- Tightness or swelling in the throat
- Difficulty in breathing
As per the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious disease, even a small amount of allergic food can cause severe reactions in people with allergies.
Is food intolerance different from food allergies?
Some people often mistake food intolerances for food allergies. Food intolerance occurs when your body cannot digest specific foods. Certain foods might also irritate the digestive system of your body causing food intolerance. Food intolerances are not life-threatening as compared to severe food allergies.
What foods can cause food allergies among children?
Studies show that there are eight common types of foods that cause allergies in children. They are:
- Tree nuts
Out of the foods mentioned above peanuts, fish and shellfish generally cause a more severe reaction as compared to other foods.
Possible treatments of food allergies
There are no permanent treatments for food allergies. In order to control them, you must avoid the foods that cause the reactions.
You should also consult your child’s dietitian or doctor to make sure you are taking important vitamins and minerals that you might not be taking because of certain food allergies. In severe food allergy cases, your doctor can also prescribe an emergency kit including epinephrine which can help you with a severe allergic reaction.
Some children may outgrow the allergies as they grow older and their immunity improves. Others may not outgrow their food allergies at all. So it is advisable to consult your child’s dietitian.
Contact Kanupriya Khanna, one of the best dietitians in Delhi holding more than 15 years of work experience in child nutrition and start a healthy journey for your child.