Food Allergies and Your Immune System

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When you have food allergies, your immune system that usually protects you from the various diseases will somehow falter and an allergic reaction will ensue. The most common occurrences of allergic reaction in the United States involves ingestion of the some of the following; peanuts and other nuts, soy, eggs, wheat, milk and seafood.

Common Allergic Reactions

The range of the allergic reactions manifestation could be from a very mild one to the most severe. It can happen right away, immediately after eating or several hours after. Some clues that could alert you to possible allergic reactions are the presence of itchy skin rashes, runny nose, cough, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, hoarseness of voice, tingling sensation of the tongue or lips, pains in the stomach and tightness of throat. In the most severe instances, it can cause anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction characterized by the commencement of several problems simultaneously with one another, in which case, it can affect breathing, the heart, digestion process, the skin and even the blood vessels. In this case also the blood pressure can drop alarmingly, the tongue may swell and the breathing tubes will become narrow. Persons susceptible to this kind of reaction would need to be very cautious and extra careful in ingesting food or medications. They need to have specific emergency plans and handy special medications for potential occurrence of allergies.

Studies have shown that there are some allergies that can be outgrown. However, there are those, like in peanuts and some types of seafood, which will be permanent.

Determining Allergies

How will you know if you have allergies? There may be instances that you will discover your allergies easily, like if after eating a particular food, rashes soon appear. But in reality, it is not always as easy, since most food have many ingredients it could be quite tricky to figure out which one caused the allergic reaction.

Dealing with Allergies

If you start experiencing any of the symptoms, seek the help of a doctor. You may go straight to an allergy specialist or your personal doctor may direct you to one. The allergy specialist will inquire about your past reactions to certain foods, about how long it took for the rashes to appear from your taking in of the food, and he or she may also inquire as to your family allergy history. He may also do a skin test to see how your body reacts to small amounts of those foods that causes your reactions. Some allergy specialist may also take some blood samples from you to be mixed with some substance or food that you may be allergic to. Remember that you should not imitate these tests at home; the allergy test is only for the doctor to administer and should only be done in the doctor’s office.