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Best Safeguards Against Food Allergy

Updated on December 4, 2017

What causes food allergy?

A food allergy happens when your immune system negatively responds to usually not dangerous substances. These substances are called allergens and can cause a true allergic reaction. When an allergic reaction occurs, your eyes suddenly become red and watery; breathing is difficult, uneasy digestive system and your skin are entirely affected. A true food allergy makes your immune system overreacts to certain foods. When overreaction occurs, other organs in your body are affected. For example, skin rashes appear, tingling sensation in your mouth, panting, coughing and may experience choking. The allergic reaction may also cause your blood pressure to drop to unsafe levels and may cause your windpipe to close up. Symptoms occur during childhood but still many experiences it in adulthood. Often, it appears unexpectedly in adults who not at all had an allergy before.

8 Food allergy triggers.

Many different foods can trigger an allergic reaction, but the most allergenic are called the Big Eight. They are a group of foods comprised of milk, fish, eggs, crustacean shellfish, wheat (barley, rye, and oats), soybean, peanuts and tree nuts (cashews, walnuts, and almonds).

Your best defense against food allergies.

Because food allergies are life-threatening, you should know how to protect yourself so you can eat foods without any worries. Be allergy-free everyday by following these advice:

Inform your doctor about your symptoms.

If all of a sudden you feel a reaction after eating your meal, call your doctor right away. Your doctor can examine and pinpoint the real cause, whether its food allergy, intolerance, or other cases of food poisoning. If you consult other doctor related to a different health issue, do not forget to tell her about your allergies. Informing the new doctor gives you a proper treatment and care.


Make a note of the foods you consumed.

By keeping a record of what and when you eat, your doctor can accurately identify what makes you ill. Mention in your log the symptoms you felt, how the food was prepared, and if other people got sick.

Know the foods that give you problems.

If you feel sensitive to a specific substance, there's a chance that you will be susceptible to other stuff with related chemical structure. Be aware of the family of foods, like for example if eating shrimps give you allergies most probably lobsters and crabs will affect you as well.1

Be aware of the potential problems from certain foods.

Keep in mind that even though they undergo refining process that gets rid of the harmful ingredients, there are always exceptions. Cold pressed oils retain their nutritional value. Foreign processed oils and the one's restaurants used should come to mind. Get a piece of advice from your doctor about what oils are safe for you.

Ask the cook about food ingredients.

People with food allergies should be aware of the hidden ingredients in gravy, dressings, etc. before putting it in your meal. There are instances where cross-contamination happens. One example is the cook using the same spoon in his peanut chicken and your veggie stir-fry order. If eating nuts cause an allergic reaction that would be extremely harmful to you. You can stop this by just asking the chef what ingredients he used. If the menu provides the ingredients, don't think twice and ask the waiter about the actual contents of a dish. Tell them that you will have severe allergic reactions if you eat food with nuts. They will take your concerns seriously if you tell them you're allergic.

Examine the ingredients of packaged foods.

Packaged foods can contain allergens that you need to avoid. Some tasty snack cakes, for example, can have tiny bits of nuts and even that instant soup you're enjoying may have powdered milk. Manufacturers do not say all the ingredients they put in their products despite it contains one of the dreaded Big Eight. In recent years, the FDA along with other non-government groups suggested that the food industry should label products that contain major food allergens. Along with this move, the FDA plans to check the processing facilities for a spot-check to guarantee that allergy-causing foods do not contaminate other products by mistake.


Avoid restaurant foods.

There's no cure for food allergies so far, so the most efficient way of preventing it is to avoid them and quit going to the restaurant that serves them. For people allergic to peanuts, cease visiting Chinese restaurants where the risk of cross-contamination is high. The desserts on the menu often have flavoring ingredients, or other foodstuffs that even the chef does not seem aware of. Foods sold in the streets can contain a high amount of allergy-causing components, and the vendor will probably not tell you the contents of the foods he is selling.

Wash all your kitchen items properly.

Having a proper kitchen sanitation helps avoid cross-contamination. Always clean and scrub thoroughly any utensils, chopping board, and pan. Wash it with a dishwashing soap and pour hot water to get rid of allergens.

Make sure to carry emergency medications.

Keep in mind, no matter where you are, it's essential that your medicine for allergic reaction is always at hand. The most common emergency treatment for allergic reaction is a shot of epinephrine or adrenaline - both requires a doctor's prescription. There is no better reason why it's necessary to check with your doctor about your condition.

Wear medical alert lanyard strap or wrist band.

In the event a severe allergic reaction occurs, emergency personnel can determine what is wrong and will be able to administer the proper treatment.

Always have a positive mindset.

People with food allergies tend to restrict their diet. Try to enjoy other delicious meals that do not give you problems and not survive on bread and water only.

© 2016 Ferdinand Receno


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