Foods are meant to satiate our taste buds and make us healthy, but not all foods are suitable to one and all. Some of us are allergic to certain common foods. For example, some of us may feel itchy, have difficulty in breathing or even suffer cardiac arrest on having peanuts, while some others may show similar reactions to milk or wheat. Educating ourselves about some common foods that cause allergies will help in saving us from these lethal allergens. Otherwise, we take it for granted that easily available and popular foods are harmless to each and every one of us resulting in the risk of being caught up unawares in a food allergy syndrome.
Common Foods That Cause Allergies
It is hard to believe that the peanut, a common nut that is enjoyed by many of us throughout the world, can prove to be fatal to persons who are allergic to it. The allergy can vary from a mild form causing itchiness, to severe form that can cause cardiac arrest or anaphylaxis. Sneezing, swelling, eczema, asthma, abdominal pain and drop in blood pressure are some of the other allergic reactions to peanut proteins. Allergic persons should avoid peanuts, peanut products and exposure to peanut dust. Epinephrine injection should be administered to persons suffering from anaphylaxis under medical supervision.
Egg allergy is the allergy to the whites or yolks of hen eggs or other edible eggs. The allergy is most commonly seen in children below the age of 5 years of age and the reaction may be as severe as asthma or anaphylaxis. The allergy may persist for a lifetime in some people. The allergic persons should avoid eating eggs and all forms of egg products. They can opt for egg substitutes instead. Those susceptible to allergic reactions such as hives, urticaria or anaphylaxis should carry an epinephrine auto injector for emergency use.
Milk allergy refers to allergic reaction to milk and dairy products. Allergic reaction to milk may cause anaphylaxis. The person may be allergic to a number of milk proteins, commonly the alpha-S1 casein. Milk allergy is of two types, the antibody mediated allergy and the non antibody mediated allergy. The antibody mediated allergy results in the immediate onset of symptoms whereas the symptoms for the latter type of allergy are more gradual. The effects of milk allergy can be dermatological, gastrointestinal or respiratory or a combination of all. A person who is allergic to milk should avoid this otherwise nutritious drink and its products.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts adorn our dishes and make them nutritious and irresistible. However, some people may be allergic to these nuts as well. The allergies caused by nuts can be as severe and fatal as the allergies caused by other foods. Allergic persons should always be equipped with epinephrine auto injector kits. Prevention is always better than cure and it is always better to avoid these and other tree nuts.
Wheat is a healthy source of carbohydrates, and is used for making most of our staple foods. Nonetheless some of us are allergic to it. Wheat allergy is different from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. The allergic reaction can range from hives (mild) to anaphylaxis (severe). Wheat allergic persons should avoid all wheat products in direct or indirect forms and take epinephrine auto injectors, if necessary.
Soy is considered as an alternative to milk and dairy products allergy, but some of us may be allergic to soy itself. Soy allergies are usually mild, but severe reaction can also occur, though rarely. Allergic persons should avoid soy in all forms.
Sesame seeds are loaded with some essential amino acids. However, persons who are allergic to it should avoid it in all forms. The allergy symptoms are similar to those of other food allergies. Sesame seed allergic persons are also found to be commonly allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Hence, a person with sesame seed allergy should get examined for other related allergies.
Seafood is savored by many of us, and therefore, you get to see it in a number of global menus. Per contra some persons are allergic to it and consequently they have to sacrifice their craving for this item. Also known as shellfish allergy, it causes symptoms similar to other food allergies and the treatment approach mostly remains the same.
Sulfites are preservatives that are added to some foods such as commercially prepared pickles, jams, soft drinks, juices and condiments. Though rare, some persons, especially those with asthma and allergic rhinitis, are allergic to this chemical. A person who is allergic to sulfites should carefully read the list of ingredients of commercial food preparations before consuming them.
Mustard is a healthy ingredient that is added to many dishes. Anyhow, it can elicit allergic responses from some persons. It can elicit the same mild to severe allergic responses as other food allergens.