Allergies: They are No Laughing Matter
People can develop food allergies at any time point during their lifetime. All types of allergies are triggered by specific external stimulants. Food allergies are a result of immunity responses to the food we consume. Quite often, even the tiniest amount of food in question can elicit a severe reaction.
Allergy sufferers of all ages can develop hives, rashes, nausea, diarrhea or even anaphylaxis (swelling of the respiratory passages). There are some people who have exercised-induced allergies, meaning that certain foods can trigger a deadly allergic reaction once they begin exercising.
Knowing what triggers your allergies and avoiding places where you or your children could come in contact with the offending agent is key. If you consume packaged food, it’s important to read the ingredient list to make sure the product doesn’t contain anything that could cause an allergic reaction. Since many foods are mass produced in factories, it’s possible for cross contamination to occur. And if you happen to be dining out, you need to be diligent about asking your waiter about any possible contact with your specific allergen.
There are even some cosmetics that contain traces of food. Be sure to read the ingredient list on all of your cosmetics and soap products as well. Furthermore, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions, it’s important that you speak with your family physician or allergist about emergency treatment with an epipen or other anti-allergen in case you are exposed.
Peanuts and Other Nuts
Did you know that approximately 1 percent of the entire world has lethal nut allergy? According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, those suffering from nut allergies must arm themselves with the appropriate information in order to avoid a possible deadly reaction. For instance, when youngsters go to school, it’s imperative that school personnel are aware of their allergies so as to administer proper treatment if necessary.
Next on the list of offenders is shellfish. Interestingly, this is a very common allergy among people over the age of 6. Foods such as shrimp, crab and lobster all fall under the “shellfish” category. Thankfully, these are easy to recognize and aren’t among the “hidden” ingredients in most food.
Milk allergies are quite prevalent among young children. It usually becomes obvious within the first six months of life. Allergies to milk products are three times as common as nut allergies, but fortunately, many of them lose their hypersensitivity to lactose by the age of 3.
Several different types of protein can be found in wheat, and it’s these proteins that activate an inflammatory response. If you or your children suffer from a wheat allergy, check the labels to make sure the product doesn’t contain flour, bran, modified food starch, farina or semolina.
Staying safe is what’s most important when you suffer from allergies. Taking the appropriate precautions can save your life. Always be armed with an epipen or other epinephrine injector of some kind.