Dealing with food allergies can be an arduous process. Knowing what constitutes an allergy, what has caused the allergy, and how to treat the allergy is significantly complex. The easiest place to begin is to recognize some common types of food that are associated with allergic reactions. The most common adverse reactions to food are attributable to only eight types of food. These foods are known as the Big-8. The Big-8 is composed of milk, wheat, soybean, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, crustacean shellfish, and fish. These eight foods are the culprit behind 90% of all food-related allergic reactions in the United States. Any food products containing the Big-8 must be labeled as such, in accordance with the US food allergen labeling act called FALCPA. It is important to not only know each of these common allergens but the possible symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
Recognizing Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions from food, typically manifest themselves as some form of physical discomfort. Symptoms associated with these reactions can range from mild to severe. Severe reactions can be potentially life-threatening. It is also possible for mild reactions to become severe over time. One of the most common reactions is a condition called anaphylaxis. An individual experiencing anaphylaxis from a food allergy can have constricted airways, drastic lowering of blood pressure (anaphylactic shock), and swelling in the throat that can lead to suffocation. Anaphylaxis is one of the most severe allergic reactions an individual can have to food. The symptoms can manifest within a few minutes to a few hours. Less severe allergic reactions include hives, flushed skin or rash, tingling or itching sensations in the mouth, swelling of the face or tongue, vomiting or diarrhea, cramps, coughing or wheezing, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness. At the onset of any of these symptoms, an individual should be submitted to medical examination and evaluation. If the individual has a known food allergy an injection of epinephrine may be necessary.
Preventing Allergic Reactions with Probiotics