What is Food allergy?
A general health article about Food allergy fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & Self Care Strategies
To start with, food allergy is unusual reaction to certain type of food allergen. An allergen is the substance or thing that causes the allergic reactions.
Exposure to the allergen sets off the alarm in the human immune system which consequently releases antibodies to fight off the invasion of the perceived foreign body that is the food allergen.
It then causes the symptoms you would see when you are in a state of allergic reaction.
Signs & Symptoms of Food allergy
The symptoms of allergy are as varied as the substances causing the reaction. These include recurring headache, migraine, dizziness, irritability, nervousness, depression, neuralgia, sneezing, conjunctivitis, diabetes, eczema, heart-burn, hay fever, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric ulcer, asthma, overweight, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attacks, a stuffy or runny nose, shortness of breath, swelling of the face and eyes, etc.
The same food can cause different symptoms in different people. Many allergies are multiple and may be caused by multiple allergens.
Warning Signs of Food allergy
As you may have known already, food allergy is an unusual reaction to food that is elicited by an exposure to certain food types which then creates a response from the immune system. The reaction that the immune system eventually generates will then cause discomfiting symptoms.
Looking more closely, food allergens (the ones that causes allergic reactions) are proteins that unfortunately withstood the high temperatures of cooking as well as the acidic substances and enzymes of the gastrointestinal system.
These allergens consequently live on to pass through the linings of the gastrointestinal tract, disperse into the blood circulatory system, and travel to organs of target, which results to different allergic symptoms all over the body.
Food allergy symptoms are commonly noted as irritation of the skin which may involve hives, eczema, and a simple rash. Other symptoms may also include irritations in the gastrointestinal organs like vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach aches, and nausea.
Common symptoms of food allergy include swollen hands, itchy and swollen eyes, burning sensations of the lungs due to thinning of the tissue lining, and closing of the larynx or throat.
Through the years, there have been numerous documented allergic reactions seen in a lot of people, the following is additional information about other allergic symptoms that even you have experienced but have failed to take notice:
- insomniac tendencies or sleeping difficulties
- symptoms that resemble arthritis
- canker sores
- nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting
- inflammation of the face and lips
Furthermore, allergic reactions to a specific kind of food can also generate a specific symptom. Therefore there are symptoms that can pinpoint to a certain type of food allergy which can then be quite useful in figuring out what medications to administer and the formulation of a management plan. In other words, it is possible to determine the source of the allergy by evaluating the symptoms.
Simple headaches are usually symptoms of an allergic reaction to chocolates and wheat. Migraines, on the other hand, are typically caused by an allergy to cheese, nuts, citrus fruits, tomatoes, milk, eggs, and MSG or monosodium glutamate.
Monosodium glutamate is a chemical used for seasonings in a lot of foods but only those which have excessive amounts can cause allergic reactions.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis, which is a swelling and drying of the skin, can be seen in allergies to citrus fruits, eggs, and tomatoes. Hives or urticaria is also a form of skin irritation which is represented by elevated skin welts that are reddish. Hives can be very itchy, this allergic reaction is common among tomatoes, eggs, shellfish, mangoes, pork meat, nuts, and strawberries.
Asthma is commonly seen in wheat and egg allergies.
There are also allergy manifestations that affect the physical energy, consciousness, and emotions of a person. These reactions can be regularly seen in allergies to wheat, soybeans, corn, and milk.
As you may have observed, many types of foods share the same symptoms most of the time. A careful assessment and physical evaluation is needed to at least determine the source of the allergy. It is not only in the symptoms that medical professionals can determine what the source of allergy is but also through blood tests, diet eliminations, and food challenges.
Careful assessment of daily food intake by the patient can be of great help in pinpointing the culprit and as well as a comprehensive analysis of the symptoms observed.
Furthermore, a consultation with a reputable allergist who will be part of the medical team can assist you in fighting your allergy that may have caused you great discomfort in your daily life.
Food Allergy and Asthma
There have been a lot of studies about food allergy that involves patients having asthma. You can easily see the symptoms after a couple of hours after eating a certain kind of food. Asthma and eczema are associated with atopic patients with allergies in food.
Atopy has three manifestations including asthma. It is an allergy pattern unknown to most patients. It is usually associated with disorders such as hay fever and eczema. Food allergy causes delayed or immediate asthma patterns. The delayed pattern can bring about bronchitis and/or chronic asthma. The immediate reactions are life threatening, dramatic, and sudden that is a consequence of an anaphylactic reaction to food.
Asthma basic ideas, causes, treatment:
- asthma is considered an allergy unless proven otherwise
- allergies come from food sources and airborne
- solve asthma through diet revision and improved air quality
There are three basic choices for the treatment of asthma including removing the cause, treating the symptoms, and altering the patient to tolerate such causes.
Oftentimes, asthma is known as an allergy that's airborne, and food allergy is greatly neglected. Most doctors overlook this fact and despite the improvements with drug therapies, asthma is a leading cause of death.
Most of the skin tests conducted to patients with asthma are negative, and the symptoms don’t appear immediately. For some, it can take hours or even days.
How does this happen? If the person eats a type of food that he or she is allergic to, the food allergens are then incorporated into the bloodstream and it triggers the immune mediators' release. These chemicals can cause different symptoms like bronchial muscle constriction; and this is an episode of an asthma attack.
You will slowly feel the reduction of airflow in your bronchial tubes. You're already having a noisy and prolonged expiration. This obstructive, inflammatory phase is an important mechanism associated with chronic asthma.
Patients with food allergy are usually given antibiotics over and over again because the infection and allergic symptoms are very similar. But the truth is antibiotics can actually increase your risk of advance allergic reactions.
There have been reports about patients with long-standing deterioration after prolonged or repeated antibiotic use. This is one of the reasons why many asthmatic patients are quite hesitant to undergo medication.
Here's good news to asthma sufferers, with a complete revision in your diet, you can remove the chronic symptoms. You must have a broad management plan that includes solving your food allergy, toxicity, airborne allergy, and providing appropriate medication when certain preventive efforts are unsuccessful.
There are specialized doctors that can help you with your diet plan. If your asthma is indeed caused by certain food allergy, your doctor can help you in identifying which foods you're allergic to.
Once the foods are identified, your doctor can now recommend a new diet plan that is designed to stay away from certain foods. This may take time and you need to visit your doctor periodically. But the results are quite effective according to come patients.
If you're not that sure, you can do a valuable research online and check if the there are doctors in your place that can help you with your food allergy. You can also ask your friends and co-workers if they know a reputable doctor who can help you out.
Don’t start any treatment or diet without proper diagnosis and approval of your doctor to avoid any complications.
The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed down through your genes.
However, just because a parent or sibling might have allergies, that doesn't mean you will definitely get them, too. A person usually doesn't inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.
Fighting Off Food Allergy Reactions
Allergies to food are commonly dealt with by the avoidance of the allergy-causing food. When the allergen (the one that causes allergic reactions) has been recognized, the patient is then advised to eliminate it from his or her diet. This is achieved by revolutionizing the food prepared and reading carefully food labels on food products. A specific instruction when ordering food also helps avoid allergic mishaps when eating out.
All this cautiousness is due to the fact that there are individuals out there that are highly allergic in which even a tiny amount of allergens can cause major symptoms. Plus, there are also food preparations that contain some common food allergens which the average person would not usually link together.
To prevent exposure to foods that you may be allergic with, self-awareness is very important. You should know the food culprits that are causing these uncomfortable reactions. Knowledge can help you and your physician in formulating a management plan for your allergy. You should also make it a routine to scrutinize food labels when checking for possible food allergens included in the ingredients. During eat outs, do not hesitate inquiring about the ingredients of the meal you are planning to order.
Another precautionary measure, especially for those who manifest severe allergic symptoms when exposed to a food allergen, is the wearing of necklaces or bracelets provided by a medical institution to alert other people about your allergies in case of an accident, for example, to a state of unconsciousness.
Patients are also advised to constantly bring with them epinephrine self-injectibles which are prescribed by their physicians. Their physicians will instruct them how to self-administer the medication during an episode of allergic reaction.
If symptoms seem to be getting intense, emergency medics should be called to help transport the individual to the nearest hospital. Severe and sudden allergic reactions are also called anaphylactic reactions. Anaphylaxis may be fatal if not treated quickly.
Other than epinephrine injections, there are still other medications that can be prescribed by the physician to deal with allergic reactions to food. These medications would include bronchodilators, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and adrenergic agonists.
Bronchodilators relieve symptoms that are associated with difficulty of breathing. It basically dilates the bronchial air passageways of the respiratory tract that have become inflamed due to the allergic reaction which eventually helps the patient breathe normally. Highly allergy-sensitive individuals should carry with them fast-acting bronchodilators if they also experience asthmatic attacks from time to time that may be triggered by the allergic reaction.
Antihistamines alleviate symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, hives, rashes, and gastrointestinal discomforts. And corticosteroids lessen the severity of skin irritations and other inflammation caused by the allergic reaction. Antihistamines can be available in syrup or chewable tablet for easy access when a sudden allergic episode occurs.
Adrenergic agonists are utilized during emergency treatment for anaphylactic reactions. Results are immediate and highly effective. Adrenergic agonists typically alleviate symptoms of angioedema, cardiovascular collapse, bronchospasm, and hives.
In addition to medications that fight off symptoms of food allergy, there are treatments that are causing quite a stir in the medical world although there are not enough studies that have been conducted to prove that these treatments are effective.
One these revolutionary treatments includes the desensitization of the patient by administering injections of small amounts of the food allergen on a regular basis. This treatment claims that it can eventually make the patient endure the food allergen in the long run. Another is the introduction of a diluted substance that contains the food allergen underneath the tongue thirty minutes before the actual food intake. This treatment works in a way that it will defuse the symptomatic manifestations of the consumed food allergen.
Lastly, bear in mind that there is no cure to food allergy. All the aforementioned are only there to help alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions.
At War With Food: The Cause of Food Allergy
An allergy takes place when the immune system suddenly has an abnormal response to a certain material that is usually not detrimental to most individuals except those who have allergies. When an allergy is triggered by a substance or allergen, a person’s body recognizes this as a trespasser and subsequently releases chemicals to fight off the “trespasser” causing symptoms that can range from a simple irritation to a fatal reaction that may even lead to death.
Food allergy is a reaction made by the immune system in which antibodies are produced by the body as a result of a negative effect to some foods. Though there are many individuals who claim that they have food allergy, there are only a few who really have certain allergic reactions to food. Most people confuse food allergy with food intolerance. Food intolerance and food allergy are both sensitivity reactions to food, but intolerance to certain types of food does not affect the immune system and isn’t really a life threatening incident.
As of the present time, the medical world still has not found any cure for food allergy. Allergy management only involves the prevention of intake of food allergens and some diet modifications.
Looking closely, during an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system releases antibodies, specifically immunoglobulin E. It subsequently causes the production of chemicals like histamine in the process of “protecting” the body. Now, these chemicals are the root cause of symptoms which may include an irritation in the eyes, skin, throat, lungs, and the gastrointestinal organs. These takes place whenever the individual is exposed to the allergen.
Although any type of food can cause allergic reactions to different types of individuals, there are eight major foods out there that are often the main culprits of an allergic reaction. These eight major allergy-causing foods are: fish, soy, milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.
By and large, individuals afflicted with allergies react only to some allergy-causing foods. Sometimes, allergy to a certain type of food may also cause allergic reaction to foods that may be related with the allergen food. This incidence is known as cross-reaction. For instance, an allergic reaction to wheat may also cause a reaction to rye. Allergy to pollens subsequently causes an allergy to green apples, hazelnuts, almonds, and peaches. A reaction to goat’s milk may also be associated with an allergy to cow’s milk. And the list goes on and on.
Moreover, individuals who have been afflicted with asthma and/or eczema may also be at risk of developing a food allergy. With bad luck, they would probably have a reaction that is more severe than those people who only have food allergy to worry about. This is due to the fact that when an allergy takes place the person will be under stress which then may lead to triggering their asthma and/or eczema which will aggravate the situation.
But the intensity of the reaction will depend on some circumstances like the individual’s sensitivity threshold to the food allergen, amount of eaten food, and the exposure scale the person has to the food.
Although, there is no cure to allergies, self-discipline and vigilance will help you, the allergy-sufferer, overcome these food problems. There may be some medications out there that alleviate the symptoms but a consultation to the physician will give you a better understanding to your allergy problems as well as treatment recommendations.
Easy Guidelines on Fighting Food Allergy through Allergens-Free Diet
Some people are not aware that they have food allergy. It can be difficult to diagnose especially if allergic reactions are not apparent before. Symptoms of food allergy only appear if you exceed the tolerable amount of foods you are allergic to.
Food allergy lets your body react as if some foods are harmful. The immune system of the body then creates antibodies for fighting back food allergens which triggers the food allergy. Once the person eats the food, touches the food, or even inhales its particles, chemicals including histamine are released by the body to protect it from allergens.
Allergic symptoms can affect your cardiovascular system, skin, gastrointestinal tract, or respiratory system. Food allergy symptoms are characterized by wheezing, abdominal pain, swelling, itchiness in the throat, tongue, or lips, itchy skin rashes, and runny nose.
Food allergy need to follow special diets. These diets do not contain food allergens as much as possible. It is advised to consult your doctor or dietitian especially if you want to eliminate some types of food from your original diet or begin a specialized diet. It is because you might need some adjustments on the new meal plan or replace any lost nutrients by taking nutritional supplements.
1. Milk allergy diets. You need to eliminate milk and dairy products containing milk. These are good sources of Vitamin D and calcium. So it is necessary to replace it with other kinds of food such as soy products, spinach, and broccoli, also enriched with these nutrients. The labeled ingredients of the products must be always checked. You can also use almond, rice, or soy milk, instead of cow's milk. Non-dairy goods which include some margarines, cheese, yogurt, chocolate, and ice cream.
2. Egg allergy diets. Young children, adults, and infants are more prone to egg allergies. Elimination of eggs and other products with egg contents is needed. Also check labels carefully because some egg alternatives has egg white contents.
3. Peanut allergy diets. Peanut allergies are one of the most fatal and are potentially serious among all types of food allergy. It contains food allergens most common for triggering allergic reactions. Most commercial foods such as ethnic foods, candy, and baked foods contain peanuts, especially if prepared only by one manufacturer.
4. Tree nuts allergy diets. All products with tree nuts ingredients must be totally avoided even though only one nut triggers your allergic reactions. Some shampoos and lotions also contain tree nuts. Carefully check the product labels.
5. Fish allergy diet. Fish have different species but contains similar proteins. You need to eliminate all kinds of fish from your diet, except if your allergist has already determined the specie that triggers your food allergy. It is also advisable not to visit seafood restaurants.
6. Shellfish allergy diets. Shellfish have different species but contains similar proteins. You need to eliminate all kinds of shellfish from your diet, except if your allergist has already determined the specie that triggers your food allergy.
7. Soy allergy diets. Soybeans are considered legumes which include kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, string beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, peanuts, carob, licorice, and lentils. This is widely used for processing foods, so make sure to avoid such products.
8. Wheat allergy diets. Wheat proteins are called gluten and wheat made foods are considered as American diet staples, which you need to avoid. Read the labels of the products carefully.
Never forget these diet guidelines to fight food allergy successfully. After all nothing beats caution and preparedness.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Individuals who are highly allergic are advised to put on medical alert necklaces or bracelets which declare your condition. As for the medications, some patients who are very vulnerable are also advised to bring with them at all times a self-injectible epinephrine, which is prescribed by the doctor, that can be of great help during sudden attacks of allergic reactions before seeking out for the assistance of an emergency team.
Other medications are antihistamines, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids. Antihistamines help improve symptoms of rhinitis, hives, rashes, and gastrointestinal problems. Corticosteroids alleviate the severity of inflammations of the skin and in other areas of the body. While bronchodilators are utilized to open up air passages of the respiratory tract that has become inflamed which would have resulted to breathing difficulties.
Food Allergy and Food Intolerance: Identification and Treatment
Most medical doctors nowadays are giving much attention to food allergy and intolerance unlike before. Although there is no particular drug that can be used as treatment for food allergy, there are other alternatives that can be pursued to control your addiction to certain foods. Some doctors also prescribe vitamin supplements and other drugs that can be helpful in controlling your cravings for certain foods.
Jonathan Brostoff and Linda Gamin wrote a book which was published way back in the year 2000. It's a book all about food allergy, food intolerance, and their treatments. If you want to get invaluable advice to achieve long-lasting and dramatic health improvements, this is the best book to add to your book collection.
This book explains how food sensitivities cause misdiagnosed and chronic ailments like migraines, persistent fatigue, and sinus problems. It also features a gradual process of identifying certain food allergy, intolerances, and helps you reshape your diet to achieve better health.
Some chronic ailments like the ones mentioned above remain elusive, and doctors find it quite hard to diagnose such ailments. If all conventional tests can't provide comprehensible diagnosis, the likely culprits are food intolerance and food allergy.
You can find clear explanations about the causes, differences between allergies and intolerance, and various case studies on certain problems that the readers are quite familiar about. Most importantly, the needed solutions or treatments for such problems are also provided. Many charts and illustrations are provided, including an elimination diet divided into three stages and a gradual reintroduction food system.
If you suspect that you have a persistent condition that is linked to any dietary sensitivity, this book can provide you with the necessary information that you will need in achieving sound results. You're not only improving your health, but your life as well.
Most critics gave the book high ratings and they claim that the texts are thorough and detailed. The critics recommend the book for public health collections and for the general consumers. If you're studying about food problems and allergies, this is a must-have that you shouldn’t miss. Of course the book can't please everyone, and there are those that say the book lacks adequate examination of complementary and/or alternative practices which most readers and allergy sufferers are looking for in a book.
Many consumers also gave the book high ratings. Most of them claim that it's truly a helpful book that it unlocks the door that leads to the better understanding of food intolerance and food allergy.
The good news is that the book is sold at approximately $20, and is shipped to you in twenty four hours. If you can't afford it, you can settle for used copies, but make sure that you get it from authorized dealers.
The authors of the book are Brostoff and Gamlin, and they are an honorary professor/consulting physician and biochemist respectively. Brostoff is highly recognized as the leading authority on intolerance and food allergy internationally while Gamlin specializes about health matters, allergies, and immune system. Gamlin is also a well respected writer.
So if anyone in your family suffers from any health condition and you think that it is brought about by food allergy, or perhaps food intolerance, don’t hesitate to buy the book. This is the key to discover what causes such health conditions.
Spotting the Culprit: Food Allergy Blood Test
A simple food allergy can change the way a person live his or her life for it basically makes this person a little altered than his or her allergy-free contemporaries. Allergies with certain types of food are caused by a specific chemical that is a common chemical ingredient in that same food. So, it is not surprising that an allergy to food may also cause a reaction to medications which subsequently leads to an alteration in medications, too.
As a result, medical professionals have been finding ways to detect food allergy as early as possible before the reactions take place. There are numerous testing processes that they utilize in finding out whether a patient is allergic to certain types of chemicals. One of these tests includes blood testing.
But before going further about blood testing, you should first understand what goes on inside the body during the allergic process.
There are two ways that the immune system reacts to an allergy. One approach is that the body, after the detection of allergens, generates immunoglobulin E or IgE which is a kind of antibody. IgE is then disseminated in the blood stream. The other approach is the occurrence of mast cells. Mast cells appear in the body tissues particularly in common allergy sites like the throat, nasal cavity, oral cavity, skin, lungs, and the organs of the gastrointestinal system.
There are cases that the capacity to produce immunoglobulin E to fight off a certain food allergen is in inherited. Individuals who are at higher risk in being afflicted with food allergy are those who have blood relations who have suffered from asthma, eczema, and hay fever.
Furthermore, an individual must initially be in contact with the potential food allergen before his or her body produces the antibody IgE. As the individual is finally exposed to the allergen the IgE is then produced and consequently fastens itself to the mast cells. This team up will eventually cause body chemical reactions the next time the allergen is eaten by the hapless individual.
Now, this immunoglobulin E is important in the detection for allergies through blood testing. The most frequently utilized blood tests are Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) and CAP-RAST (which is basically similar to RAST but more advanced).
In blood tests, the outcome is ranked from one to six, with one the least positive and six the most. Blood tests can be utilized in individuals afflicted with a severe case of eczema since this type of testing can not be influenced by antihistamines.
Following the drawing of blood samples, it is then sent away to the laboratories for further evaluation. Blood tests can be pretty much expensive and results are not immediately available for the patient to know whether they are allergic to certain food or not.
Eventually, an allergy is diagnosed when the medical professionals detected the presence of the immunoglobulin E or IgE in the patient’s blood. But the results of the blood test can not identify if there is a close connection between the existence of IgE and the allergy’s intensity. There are even cases wherein the results are negative although the patient manifests symptoms of food allergy.
In case, blood tests fail there are still other tests that the medical professionals may utilize to size up your allergy. These tests may include skin prick tests, elimination diets, and food challenges.
Furthermore, feel free to ask questions to the medical professionals concerning the results to better understand your condition.
Common Food Allergy: Effectively Managing Food allergy
It is a fact that you have to eat food everyday in order to give your body the nourishment it needs in order for it to function on its daily tasks. Obviously, food is what fuels your body to go on living. However, there are cases where food can also cause illness that you have to avoid.
Today, there are cases where people are allergic to certain kinds of food. In order to properly manage it, you have to consider that you will need to be aware of the food that you are allergic from and also to avoid food that contains certain kinds of allergens that your body will react to.
It is very important that you should know how to effectively manage your diet especially if you are allergic to certain kinds of food as allergy attacks can be very uncomfortable and can affect the normal functions in your daily life. In severe cases, allergy attacks may need you to be hospitalized as it can cause swelling in your air passages that will not allow you get any oxygen in your lungs and suffocate to death.
First of all, allergy attacks are triggered by the allergens found in allergen-containing foods. Normally, these allergens are considered to be harmless. However, once it enters the body of a person with allergic reaction to specific allergens, the immune system overreacts and tries to destroy the foreign object that made its way to the body. During this process, the body reacts by showing signs of swelling to different parts of the body, skin rashes, redness and increase in temperature, itching, shortness of breath and wheezing
As you can see, allergic reactions of your body can be very uncomfortable and will severely affect your daily activities. This is why you have to be aware of the foods you eat and know what kind of food you are allergic from.
Usually, the most common food allergy that the body reacts to are peanuts, shellfish, milk, fish, wheat and soy. If you are not sure what food allergens you are allergic to, you have to visit your physician or an allergist. They will give you a series of tests that will enable you to identify what kind of food you are allergic from. With this kind of information, you will be able to manage your allergy effectively and prevent any future attacks.
Here are some ways you can prevent allergy attacks. Firstly and obviously, you have to avoid foods that contain food allergens that your body reacts to. This means that you should never eat food that you are allergic to and never cook food with an ingredient that contains the food allergens.
If you are out dining in a restaurant, you should inform the waiter or waitress about your food allergy and ask him or her which food contains the food allergen you are allergic from. If you really want to eat foods that contain the allergens, you have to inform the waiter or waitress to not include the ingredient (milk, peanuts, tree nuts, egg) that you are allergic from.
If you accidentally ingested the food-containing allergen, it is very important that you should immediately take anti-histamine medications. This is why you have to take anti-histamine medication wherever you go in case you accidentally ate food that contains an ingredient that you are allergic from.
These are some of the common food allergens that you should know about in order to properly manage it and minimize the risk of future allergy attacks that can lead to severe discomfort and in severe cases, death.
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis in an Irritating Nutshell
A person will never know if they are allergic to a certain type of food unless they have eaten the food allergen itself. It takes a certain amount of food for the reaction to take place and trigger a symptom.
Food allergy and anaphylaxis are closely related, but they have their own defining differences that will be discussed as you read on.
Plus, a person can also develop allergic reactions to foods that are closely related to the original food allergy he or she has. Say, an allergy to oysters can also lead to an allergic reaction when the person eats shrimp, crabs, or fish.
In food allergy, the individual’s immune system reacts in two ways. The body may respond through the use of mast cells. These mast cells can come about at just any part of the human body but its favorite spots make itself known to the world is in the throat, lungs, eyes, skin, and especially the organs of the gastrointestinal system.
The other type of response is through the body’s release of immunoglobulin E antibodies that travel through the blood system. It then eventually causes the discharge of the body chemical histamine which then causes the activation of allergic reactions in the common body sites previously mentioned.
On the other hand, anaphylaxis is derived form the Greek words ana and phylaxis, which subsequently means back and protection. It is the abrupt allergic response that is much more intense than the common allergy which can be lethal to the sufferer. Chief causes of anaphylaxis include insect stings, skin contact to latex, medications, and food. Anaphylaxis may also be idiopathically caused or, in lay man’s terms, unknown causes.
Like in food allergy, anaphylaxis involves the reaction of the different body sites; the only difference is the intensity of the response and only a small amount of the allergen is needed for the reaction to take place. The time span before signs and symptoms become evident ranges from within a few seconds up to a few hours after allergen exposure.
Anaphylaxis can come about following the intake of food, skin contact, or even as simple as inhalation of the food aroma. The life threatening type of anaphylaxis is called anaphylactic shock. In anaphylactic shock, only a tiny amount of the food allergen is needed to cause death to the sufferer within moments of exposure.
Individuals who are in danger of undergoing an anaphylactic reaction are those who have a history of allergy to food, asthma, and eczema. They are more likely to experience an anaphylactic response that can be fatal. Another population group who are also at risk of anaphylaxis, through the evidences of current studies that have been conducted, is teenagers who are afflicted with a certain type of food allergy.
This is due to the fact that teenagers have frequent tendencies to eat out, are daring and experimental in their endeavors, and are more likely to fail to identify symptoms of anaphylactic reaction. Moreover, teenagers have tendencies to forget to carry with them essential medications which can either be caused by self-consciousness common to their age group.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis may be similar to that of food allergy. Basically, an incident of anaphylaxis initially starts with an itchy or irritating sensation, and some individuals experience a metallic after-taste. Anaphylactic symptoms may also include hot flashes or sudden warm feeling, inflammation of the throat and oral cavity, hives, dyspnea or labored breathing, low blood pressure, diarrhea, gastric irritations, and fainting or loss of consciousness.
Furthermore, there are cases wherein the symptoms fade away for a moment but then come back within a few hours; this incidence is known as biphasic reaction.
To prevent food allergy and anaphylactic reactions, careful scrutiny of food labels, diet modifications, specific instructions in food orders in restaurants, and certain medications can be of great help in reducing the incidence of any type of reaction. Moreover, a consultation to the physician is advisable for an efficient management plan and if allergies seem to run in families because it can also be hereditarily caused.
Eczema and Food Allergy; are They Really related to Each Other
Eczema is a type of skin ailment that usually comes with itching, skin thickening and scaling. Most often, eczema appears on the knees, arms, elbows and even on the face.
When this type of skin ailment affects children, especially those who have a clear skin, parents are not able to distinguish its cause at once.
Usually, parents perceived that food allergy are the source of their child's eczema. However, there are numerous experts who find this belief to be untrue. Instead, these experts advise parents not to limit the diet of their child without consulting with a pediatrician first.
An example of eczema relating to food allergy was the case of a five month old baby who suffers from severe eczema.
According to the mother, the baby is intolerant to lactose early on, even the formulas of lactose free appear to be incompatible to her baby. Hence, she decided to shift to soy.
The soy shows a good reaction on the baby's skin. However, after sometime, the eczema appeared again.
If you are in the position of the mother, would you think that the soy caused the eczema to the baby? Would you prefer to use again the lactose free formula?
As what has been mentioned in the previous paragraph, eczema usually appears and vanishes, leaving the child with clear eczema free skin for a couple of weeks. That makes the triggering factor of eczema hard to be determined.
This is the exact thing experienced by the mother in the presented case.
Though it is true that the controversy about food allergy as a triggering factor of eczema do not die away until now, the relationship of a lactose free formula to the baby's eczema do not show a good reason.
According to the experts, the baby might catch the allergy from milk proteins, or if not from the soy proteins. They reject lactose, a sugar, to be the reason.
Shifting to lactose free formula can be her option. But experts affirmed that lactose do not include a formula that would cure the baby's eczema. If ever it does, it is certainly a coincidence.
Lactose may develop other symptoms, like or instance fussiness, diarrhea or gas.
If you have the same case, it is suggested that you visit your baby's pediatrician rather than rely on hearsay. You can cite to your baby's pediatrician that you are suspecting the baby to be allergic on soy formula including those that are milk based.
Your pediatrician will tell you whether these formulas really worsen the eczema. Hypoallergenic formula like Alomentum or Nutramigen can be prescribed.
The pediatrician might also advise allergy testing. This is done through blood testing.
Now, if you really observe that the food or even drinks your baby had taken has worsen his eczema, then you can just simply avoid them. But clarify it with your pediatrician; he is more knowledgeable about food allergy.
Note that there are also some children who both have eczema as well food allergy. But these two do not tend to affect one another.
The best thing about this case is to know the treatments for eczema. Follow the prescription of the pediatrician; this will assure you that you are applying the right medication for your baby.
Determine properly the triggering factor. Usually, pediatricians prescribe moisturizers, or topical steroids.
Self Care strategies for Living with Food allergy
Cure For Food Allergy with Psychological Origin
Food allergy is one of the easiest conditions to cure when talking about psychological methods. However, it is recommended to use other methods that are widely available. It is because one treatment may be effective for one person but not to others. From the point of view of some psychologists, food allergy has something to do with emotional experiences or illnesses from years ago. However, most people are unconscious about it.
Take for instance; when you were a child, you have developed headaches or nausea from bugs that you have picked up and have associated it with the food you have eaten recently. If you experience the same thing in the days to come, it could bring back the same emotional upset and symptoms of the disease.
To eliminate food allergy in relation to psychological origins, you need to successfully send the message to your subconscious mind for breaking that association. You can get the help of a hypnotist or a knowledgeable friend about the process.
You need to dig deeper to find out the origin of your food allergy. It is necessary to determine the first incident that connects food allergy into your life. Your subconscious state definitely know what had happened that time and for sure that would be likely traumatic. But you don't need to be upset again, you were young before and as you are getting more mature, your way of thinking also changes. Take away all your negative emotions that you have felt before because of food allergy, and start to think recovery from that distressful situation.
More often it can be caused by what somebody said (it can include your parent, doctor, teacher, or another child) or something you witnessed in connection with food allergy. Whatever it is, there is something that was imprinted subconsciously and still operates presently. Thus you don't want to have such a condition. If you know the origin of food allergy, then it is easy to find the cure.
Talking to the subconscious mind and letting it do what the therapist say needs a trigger and a command. Your therapist can tell it to disconnect all the things that are associated to your food allergy in all the levels of your subconscious mind so that the condition will never bother you again.
A friend can do it for you. Take for instance; let your friend start the procedure by snapping his/her fingers or clapping his/her hands. You can close your eyes and begin to imagine eating the food that caused your food allergy. See how you feel. This may sound ridiculous for people who are not a therapist but can work for many sufferers of food allergy.
Your subconscious mind is not considered a reasonable mind but a mind which follows order. Again try to imagine eating the foods you are allergic to, extend your imagination until the food allergy symptoms appear, and then observe your feelings. If you feel the symptoms, then it shows that it is in your mind. This procedure can be done repeatedly until the results become positive.
This method provides no guarantees, however it can make a difference. Food allergy can be recurrent during an emotional upset. Just do the procedure all over again until your upsetting episode is over. Food allergy with psychological origin can be treated in this way. But still, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Diet change strategies:
Recipes for People who are Allergy-Sensitive
A food allergy is a type of immunologic reaction due to intake of certain food protein. Recent studies show that there are about twelve millions Americans who suffer from food allergy.
Shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, fish and peanuts are considered familiar causes of food allergy to older people. The younger ones usually suffer food allergy from peanuts, milk and eggs.
Currently, the only cure for people who are allergy-sensitive is to prevent intake of foods which makes them allergic or what is termed as “allergens.” To avoid food allergy attacks, it is a must to carefully prepare the food that will be consumed by allergy-sensitive people.
At this time there are more than 200 recipes which you can cook. Many of those are free from “allergens.”
Over reaction of the immune system in the body when proteins from the eggs are ingested causes egg allergy.
You need to avoid prepared foods wherein albumin, egg, and other egg substitutes are present if you have allergies with egg. There are different egg substitute which you incorporate on your cooking recipe such as:
- Puree from apricot
- Plain gelatin with warm water
- Mix of baking powder, vinegar and liquid
You need to check the appropriate amount of each item before you prepare the above-mentioned substitutes.
All kinds of nut as well as foods that may contain “peanut protein” should be prevented for consumption if you happen to belong to people who have peanut allergies.
These days, there are a lot of peanut-free recipes you can prepare. To name a few of peanut-free recipes are: (1) SoyNut Butter Cookies; (2) Smoothie made from Super Soy; (3) Tofu Pie made from SoyNut and Banana; (4) Ginger soup; and (5) Sauce prepared from SoyNut.
It has been discovered that “soy nut” is the best substitute for food preparation which is free from peanut. A soy nut does not belong to the “nut” family since the term is coined for soybeans that are drenched and baked for a crispier taste.
Milk allergy is an allergic response of the immune system when an individual has consumed one or more proteins acquired from cow’s milk.
If you are allergic to milk, you need not consume foods or beverages which contain milk, butter, different types of cheese, and sour creams. Some of dairy-free recipes which you may want to prepare are: (1) Potato Soup which are homemade; (2) Grilled Salmon; (3) Shrimp which is marinated then grilled; (4) Pecan snack; and (5) Spaghetti with No Red Sauce.
The complete information with regards to the recipes of some cited examples may be searched at the internet. The ingredients as well as the cooking procedures are also available through the internet. All you need to do is type in the keyword.
People who have food allergy can still taste delectable delicacies eliminating the “allergens” which triggers their allergy. The one who is preparing the food must be cautious not to include food triggers. Most importantly, there are a multitude of alternative food recipes which you can cook. The internet is a good source of recipes.
Eating should not be boring for people with food allergy. It takes a lot of creativity and resourcefulness so that you can eat the foods that you want using different food substitutes.
Nutrition support strategies:
Nutrition support can make a big difference to living with Allergies.
Over more than a decade of working with nutrition supplement I have found and interesting phenomena. If your general wellness is high then your immune system is able to better protect you. A lot of people with allergies find that the allergies diminish and often disappear when the sufferer uses a strong nutrition program.
I am not taking about treating symptoms. I am talking about core wellness.
It appears that there needs to be a certain level of pollen, mites, cat hair, whatever is triggering the allergic reaction, in the environment before the effects of most allergies manifest themselves.
My experience is that when someone gets their personal wellness high and their immune system working properly then they can be in an environment where they previously would have had an allergic reaction but now they find that the reaction does not occur.
It appears that the allergy has been cured though I seriously doubt that this is the case. What is happening is that the level of contaminates that the body can cope with is much higher and so the symptoms are not being triggered.
I have seen people who are using asthma medication every day get to a point where they do not even carry their puffers to work. I recall sitting with a lady named Karen Winter (story below) and having lunch. She was a chronic fatigue sufferer and her food allergy were so bad that she had been restricted by her doctors to 5 different vegetables to be eaten raw or steamed and only drinking bottled water. The day I sat with her she was eating pizza. Her eyes sparkled as she explained her history as she had believed her life was over.
Some of the asthma people turn around in a matter of days, hay fever allergy can improve in just a couple of weeks, Karen Winter had been on her road to recovery for two years. The time can vary but the knowledge that there is hope is critical to knowing you are still in contol of your life.
If you would like more information I suggest you read the pages here on Nutrition for the Cells and maybe check our AtoZ page on Asthma.
Specific product information on Nutrition programs and also, if the allergy is to environmental factors, check out Nature’s Raw Guarana (NRG) as it can give very quick relief to allergic reaction to environmental factors that cause things like hay fever
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible. This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about Food allergy :
An Allergy can be described as sensitiveness of the body to a substance which does not normally affect other persons.
There are innumerable substances in the environment which can cause mild to violent reactions in many people.
These reactions range from true allergies due to intolerance of certain foods and substances, to those resulting from pollution.
Acid Reflux is the other generally used name of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, also more often referred as GERD.
The disease causes damage to the esophagus as the acidic contents from the stomach, containing acids and pepsin, pushes back to the esophagus since the sphincter becomes weak and can no-more prevent the contents from stomach from gushing back in esophagus.
The acidic contents burn the esophagus and causes irritation in the esophagus.
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Nowadays, there are several reading materials to help you understand the things you need to know about food allergy.
One such example is the book called “5 Years without Food: The Food Allergy Survival Guide: How to Overcome Your Food allergy and Recover Good Healthy.” The book discusses overview of food allergy as well as the foods which you can and cannot eat and its alternatives.
Additionally, you will also learn some necessary food allergy treatment from the book. Furthermore, “a personal testimonial” from the author makes the book credible as reviewed by readers.
Some types of food allergy will be discussed for further reference:
An individual afflicted with the said allergy is hypersensitive to foods containing substance from eggs – the white or the yolk.
For some time, you are restricted to consume foods containing eggs. These days, there are egg substitutes which you can use such as tapioca and starch from potatoes. Apple sauce can also be an alternative.
People who are oversensitive to tree nuts end up experiencing allergic attacks. Nut allergy should not be interchanged with peanut allergy. It is different from the latter since tree nuts are considered fruits that are dry.
Types of food prepared from soy nuts are considered to be a good alternative in the absence of tree nuts in your diet. A soy nut is not necessarily a nut; it is a soybean which undergoes the process of soaking and baking to achieve its crisp end result.
There are individuals who upon ingestion of proteins from a cow’s milk develop an allergic reaction. When this happens, such individuals are considered to be allergic in milk.
To obtain optimum result from milk allergy treatment, you need to completely avoid milk allergens. In order for you to fill in nutritional gap from milk, you can choose to include soy milk or rice milk in your diet.
If you are hypersensitive to foods such as shellfish or flaky fishes then you are most likely allergic to seafood.
The only way to avoid allergic attacks is prevention from eating shellfish and fishes which you are allergic into. Moreover, you also need to be careful on selecting pre-packaged foods for its labeling may not declare that it contains seafood ingredients such as shellfish or fish.
There is a reason for you to undergo selective eating. It will make you overcome the allergic reaction which is happening into your system. Moreover, it will help you recover and survive. To some extent, it will help you cease your food allergy. Selective eating may vary. Some food allergy are treated on a short-term; others are not treated in their lifetime.
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