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Food Allergies, Reactions and Consquences

Updated on April 24, 2012
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Reactions to food allergies and their symptoms differ from one person to the next. There are some who have a mild reaction such as a skin rash or upset stomach to severe reactions including death. Food allergies range from milk, milk by products, meat, meat by products, fruits, peanut butter, nuts, shell fish, fish and spices.

Now, let's not get confused between food intolerance and food allergies. There are some who have a low tolerance for different foods and believe they are allergic when they actually are not. An actual food allergy is your bodies reaction within your immune system and has specific characteristics and symptoms.

Allergic reactions include but are not limited to, itchy skin, rash, hives, eczema, digestive issues such as stomach cramps,nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and has been know to cause asthmatic flare ups. Those though uncomfortable are considered mild reactions.

A severe flare up is called, anaphylaxis, this causes a your blood pressure to bottom out, you feel weaker and can possibly turn into anaphylactic reaction, you may feel tingling in your mouth and throat area. Those symptoms can be mild at the onset yet there are times if not treated properly have been know to cause death.

When a physician is trying to determine whether a patient has food allergies he will require a detailed history and sometimes has the patient keep a food diary, listing the food they consumed and any reactions that occurred. You will be asked to document the time between eating the food and your reaction and how long it lasted. They will also require a family history since it has been determined that some food allergies are heredity. There are also blood tests, skin tests and at times eliminating the food that may be causing the reactions. Normally they will require you to be without that specific food item or items for two weeks and then in a controlled environment have you eat the food and see if a adverse reactions occurs.

A physician will warn their patients that if they have a milk allergy to avoid any product that may contain milk. Those who have a peanut allergy will be told to avoid any form of food containing any type of nut, not to enter an establishments that has nuts as snacks for there patrons since there are patients who react to airborne elements. A person who may be allergic to sole, will be told not to eat any type of fish or fish by product including shell fish. If they have an adverse reaction to one they could be allergic to the others. Someone who is allergic to a specific meat has to ask a butcher to cut their meat separately. Anyone with a food allergy when going to any eating establishment where they will be consuming food must let their server know about their allergies so they are sure to take care when having the food prepared.

Needless to say an allergic reaction is an indication that the specific foods causing the reaction should be removed from your diet and special precautions should be taken when preparing, purchasing products, ingredients must be read carefully, when dining out make your allergies know to those you are dining out with, the food server, butcher, ect ... That knowledge could mean the difference between your life and death.

If the reaction creates itching, a rash, hives or eczema that induces itching you would be allowed to take an antihistamine to reduce the itching.

If the reaction is more severe, causes the tingly feelings in the mouth and throat area it is suggested that though the first reaction is considered mild it could flare up into a more dangerous reaction. That is when the epi-pen is to be kept on you at all times and anyone you are with should receive instructions on how to apply a shot and have someone call 911 if you go into an anaphylactic shock. Left untreated it will ultimately cause your death.

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    • Catzgendron profile image
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      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank You.

    • Catzgendron profile image
      Author

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you. There are many with food allergy related health issues in my family. It is more common than some people realize and can be quite dangerous if not treated properly.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 5 years ago from NC

      This was a well written and engaging hub. Thanks for the great information.

    • Catzgendron profile image
      Author

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 5 years ago from Maine

      Very well written. Food allergies are a serious matter. Many children who are allergic to peanut butter can't even be near it. It seems like more people are allergic to many foods these days, but as you wrote some may only be reactions.