Food Allergy
Food Allergy

Food Allergy: Definition, 11 Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, and Treatment

Food allergy is an allergic reaction that arises after eating certain foods. Symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, swelling of the face, shortness of breath, until loss of consciousness.

Food allergies occur when the immune system considers protein in food to be a threat to the body. As a form of response, the body releases chemical compounds that trigger allergic reactions.

Reactions arising from food allergies are often mild. But in some cases, food allergies can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to know how to prevent and relieve allergic reactions that arise.

Food Allergy Definition

Food allergy is allergic reactions when the immune system mistakenly thinks that protein from some foods is considered a dangerous threat. These food allergies can be acute or sudden, but can also be chronic or last for a long time.

Food Allergy Symptoms

In some people, food allergies can cause the sufferer to feel uncomfortable even if it is not too severe. Symptoms often appear within minutes to two hours after eating allergy-triggered foods.

The symptoms of food allergies that appear are the same as common allergic reactions, namely:

  • Colds or nasal congestion.
  • An itchy skin rash.
  • Itching in the mouth, throat, eyes, and in other parts of the body.
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • It’s hard to swallow and talk.
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath.

People with food allergies can also feel symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract, such as:

  • Abdominal pain,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Nausea, and
  • Vomiting.

These symptoms can also be caused by food intolerance.

Food Allergy Risk Factors

Risk factors for food allergies include:

Family history.

If one family member has asthma, eczema, dust allergies, or other allergies, a person is more at risk of food allergies.

Read also:
Types of allergies in human

History of food allergies.

If you have a food allergy, there can be a recurrence later in life.

Age.

Infants and children are more likely to have food allergies. However, as you get older, the gastrointestinal tract will become more mature in digesting foods that can trigger allergies.

Food Allergy Causes

Food Allergy Causes

The cause of food allergies is your immune system that overreacts to substances in food, generally protein. This allergic trigger substance is called an allergen.

If you have allergies, the immune system will overreact to allergens by stimulating the body’s cells to release antibodies. This antibody is known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). Immunoglobulin E will then move towards cells that release chemicals such as histamine.

Histamine and other chemicals also flow in the blood. These substances that ultimately cause signs and symptoms of allergies, such as hives, runny noses, swelling, diarrhea, even anaphylactic shock.

In non-IgE cases, the mechanism of the appearance of allergic reactions is not yet known for certain. Broadly, non-IgE food allergies are caused by different cells in the body’s immune system.

However, substances that cause allergies must be at a certain amount until it can give rise to an allergic reaction. Allergens can enter slightly and repeat without bringing up a reaction. When the substance has crossed the line, the body will react. 

That’s why, in some people a new allergic reaction appears in adulthood.

All substances from food may cause allergic reactions, depending on the sensitivity of the body to a particular substance. However, usually the foods that are most often the trigger are eggs, milk, seafood, and nuts.

Read also:
Shrimp Allergy Symptoms and Causes

Food Allergy Treatment

What is the right treatment if you have food allergies? The best way not to cause food allergies is not to eat foods that cause symptoms or allergic reactions to the body. Therefore, recognize food that can cause allergies to the body so as not to consume it.

Here are some medications that can be used to relieve allergy symptoms when accidentally consuming food.

If the symptoms are still mild enough, sufferers can use antihistamines that are sold freely. However, if symptoms are still felt, sufferers are required to see a doctor to be given antihistamines at higher doses.

If the symptoms arise as severe allergies, you should need an emergency epinephrine and be treated in an emergency room. For allergy sufferers, many are carrying auto-epinephrine injectors  (EpiPen, Twinjet, Auvi-Q). It is a combination of a spray and hidden needle that injects a single dose of the drug when pressed into the thigh.

Always pay attention to replacing epinephrine before the expiry period, and always replace the syringe when it is not working properly.

The Most Effective Type of Food Allergy Medication

Epinephrine

The drug is taken for severe food allergic reactions. To use this drug by injection. This drug serves to relax the muscles in order to breathe with relief.

Antihistamines

The drug is commonly used in the event of allergic symptoms such as hives, sneezing, and indigestion. The drug works to overcome the action of histamine during allergies. Histamine is a chemical that can cause allergic symptoms such as the above. Examples of antihistamine drugs such as Chlorphenamine Maleate, cetirizine, interhistin, loratadine, cyproheptadine, etc.

Corticosteroids

The way the drug works serve to reduce inflammatory reactions, allergies, and swelling. The drug can also help treat severe allergic reactions and can prevent repeated allergic reactions. Here are some examples of the drug, such as dexamethasone, prednisone, Methylprednisolone, etc.

Bronchodilator

This type of drug can overcome allergic symptoms that can cause tightness in the respiratory due to swelling of the airways. This type of drug can be tablets, injections, or steam liquids, for example the drugs are Salbutamol, salmeterol, formoterol, theophylline, etc.

Natural food allergy remedies

To overcome allergies turns out to be able to use the drug naturally and quite potently. Here are some natural remedies that can be consumed when experiencing food allergies:

  • Ginger
  • Apple Vinegar
  • Green Tea
  • Garlic
  • Foods Rich in Vitamin C
  • Lemon

So, that’s the symptoms and treatment that you have to recognize in order to always avoid allergic attacks. Of course, always maintaining a healthy lifestyle and always pay attention to the food to be eaten. Be sure not to cause allergies when eaten.

Food Allergy: Definition, 11 Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, and Treatment

Post in | Last updated: October 10th, 2020 |