Allergic reactions occur in most people in one form or
another. But among the most common types are food
allergies, which cause adverse immune system reactions
when you ingest a certain food protein. It can be as
simple as peanuts, or even shrimp, but the basic
principle of reactions is the same.
How The Body Reacts To Allergens In Food
How much the body will react when exposed to a food
allergen ranges from mild irritation to anaphylaxis,
which has the whole body reacting to the allergen and
even possibly causing death.
Depending on the severity of your allergy, reaction to
food allergens can occur from a few hours to even just
a few seconds after ingestion of the food containing
In some types of reactions, it may be that there is
just some mild tissue swelling, being itchy and
irritating at the most. Of course, the swelling
varies, so it can also cause obstruction in the air
tract and causing difficulty breathing.
Common Food Allergens
At over ninety percent of all causes of allergic
reactions, the most common food allergens have the
bulk of the attention given to food allergies.
They are divided into eight materials, and
individually they are common enough that a person
having an allergic reaction to these food materials
better stay away from them to avoid having to undergo
Being allergic to milk is pretty common, and so are
peanuts, eggs, soy, and wheat to name some. These are
found in everyday food products that a person allergic
to them will have to pay careful attention to what he
or she is eating to avoid having an allergic reaction.
Seafood and shellfish are also quite common, though of
course, itís easier to spot these among the many food
products out in everyday surroundings.
Diagnosis, Testing, And Treatment
If you suspect that youíre allergic to a certain food
product, it would be best to consult an expert
allergist. Your physician will be able to guide you in
this area, and recommend someone you can go to. They
can conduct tests to see what kind of material youíre
One common testing method is the skin prick test to
see if a person is allergic from the media being
exposed below the skin. Another would be the blood
test diagnosis for another type of allergen.
The final test type would be to have a blindfold test
to see if the patient is allergic to the actual
allergen or a placebo. This is usually conducted in
the hospital setting where patients may be treated
quickly if their reaction becomes severe.
Once a patient has been identified as having an
allergic reaction to food products, several treatment
options can be taken at this point.
There is no cure if youíre allergic to a certain food
protein, and most doctors agree that injections or
allergy shots donít work for food allergies.
The surest method for treatment of food allergies is
avoidance, and with this youíll just have to learn
which food your allergen is present in, and avoid it.
For accidental ingestions, epinephrine can be given to
stabilize the patientís system. Before you find
yourself in this situation though, it would be best to
make sure that you know just what to do before a
severe reaction occurs.