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Identifying and living with food allergies

Updated on August 11, 2012
I am allergic to food
I am allergic to food
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allergic food reactions
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food allergy treatment

food allergy treatments

The medical profession defines food allergies as the body’s hypersensitivity to dietary substances. This type of allergy may lead to numerous physical problems, especially gastrointestinal complaints. Children may be more likely to suffer from food allergies than adults, but may find they outgrow them as their bodies mature. Food allergies are very common and can be treated with an exclusionary diet.

Upon eating foods that trigger food allergies, it is possible for individuals who experience symptoms to begin to feel negative effects in as little as thirty minutes. Allergy sufferers have reported rashes, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and regurgitation as a few of the physical symptoms of food allergies. In other, rare cases, food allergies can lead to low blood pressure (hypertension), loss of consciousness and even death.

Because today’s meals and per-packaged foods consist of so many different ingredients, it is frequently quite difficult to identify the products that may be causing the actual allergic reaction. A visit to the family doctor for diagnostic blood tests may easily identify the allergens, but occasionally the allergens are difficult to identify via any method. The medical community has identified the most common products that produce food allergies as eggs, cow milk, fish, soy, tree nuts, peanuts and various types of seeds. Condiments, because they may contain various allergens, may also trigger an allergic reaction.

Once an allergen is identified, medical professionals generally suggest an exclusionary diet. This course of action simply involves eliminating the suspected allergen(s) from the sufferer’s dietary intake. This practice may prevent future allergy attacks by limiting the exposure to the allergen(s). Individuals who find that they are allergic to more than one substance are advised to obtain the advice of a medical professional or dietitian for a dietary plan designed especially for the treatment of specific allergens. Other treatments for dietary allergies may include introducing the allergen into the body in small doses. At the beginning, this process may cause general malaise, but after a few sessions the body’s immune system will learn to accept the allergen, thereby reducing or eliminating that individual’s reaction to that particular allergen.

Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute professional advice. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is best to consult with a physician. Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute professional advice. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is best to consult with a physician.


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great tips on food allergies. They seem to pop up so much these days. When I was a kid, we never heard of food allergies. There were so many kids with peanut allergies when my son went to school, that I totally stopped using peanut butter. The child in his class could not even sit near someone with peanut products.


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