Most Common Food Allergies in Adults and Children
Food allergies occur when there is an abnormal response after eating a certain type of food. This can be caused by a food component such as a protein or a starch or it can be caused by a contaminant in the food like a preservative.
Food allergies can affect just about every part of the body and have been shown to be a cause of numerous medical conditions, including chronic ear infections, asthma, depression, eczema, frequent bladder infections, and bed-wetting. Some doctors believe that many undiagnosed symptoms are related to food allergies.
Symptoms typically occur within minutes to two hours after ingesting the food. In some cases, symptoms do not appear for days.
Symptoms of food allergies can range from mild to severe, including headache, dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, chronic swollen glands, rash, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, tingling feeling in the mouth, swelling of the throat and tongue, wheezing, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and death.
Most Common Food Allergies
The majority of children with food allergies have one or two parents with a history of allergies. The most common food that cause allergies in children include peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. Children usually outgrow these allergies except for peanuts. Breast fed babies who are not started on foods for at least four months have a much higher chance of not developing food allergies.
In adults, the most common food that causes allergies include crab, shrimp, lobster, other shellfish, fish, eggs, walnuts, peanuts, and other tree nuts. Adults normally don’t outgrow their allergies.
Peanuts are mostly responsible for severe reactions.
Other common food allergies include yeast, garlic, corn, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, chili peppers, lentils, kiwi fruit, spinach, oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, chicken, beef, and pork.
The skin-scratch test or skin-prick test are of little value when diagnosing food allergies. Some blood tests can now effectively identify allergies but the best way to diagnose food sensitivities is the elimination diet.
With the elimination diet, the most common allergenic foods are removed from the diet for 1-4 weeks (when symptoms typically disappear) and are slowly reintroduced, one food at a time (every 2-3 days), so the culprit can be identified. If the symptoms do not disappear, more foods will need to be restricted.
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