Food allergies are not very common among the population but having an allergy to foods can prove to be deadly. A food allergy is caused by your immune system having an abnormal response to a food item. Because of the potential deadly consequences, foods that trigger allergies must be identified and avoided to prevent reaction.
The components of certain foods that cause allergies typically are not affected by stomach acids or the digestive enzymes in the intestines so they can stay in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and travel into the blood stream. This can cause allergic responses in other parts of the body. Food allergies can be due to the immune system’s makeup or due to heredity.
Symptoms of a food allergy will typically occur shortly after eating or within the hour. Your mouth may begin to itch and swallowing and breathing can become difficult. As the food digests, you may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. After the allergens are starting to enter your blood, the skin can break out into hives or a case of eczema. Traveling to the lungs, the allergens can cause asthma symptoms and entering the blood vessels can lead to a sudden drop in your blood pressure also referred to as anaphylaxis. These reactions can cause death if not treated promptly.
Food allergies need to be diagnosed by a doctor who must first decide if you are truly experiencing a food allergy. You will need to provide a full history of your diet and previous medical history. Skin tests and blood work will also be used to deduce what types of food allergies you have. It will be very important to avoid all traces of foods proven to give you an allergic reaction. Even miniscule amounts of an item can trigger severe allergic reactions that can cause you to die without medical treatment and prompt attention.