Some people suffer from pollen allergies in the spring or fall. Others have bad reactions to certain foods. When these events happen, the body mistakenly believes that the allergens that affect a person are endangering his or her health.
In turn, the body sets itself up in defense mode, which triggers an allergic response. The symptoms of a food allergy can vary depending on the individual. This type of allergy can affect either children or adults. Most food allergies that affect children impact them when they are three years or younger.
A Food Allergy Is Not a Food Intolerance
Food allergies are often confused with intolerances to food. However, these two events are different. Food intolerances are not as serious as allergies as they do not prompt an immune response. The severity of the food allergy is based on the immune system’s level of sensitivity. While some people only experience mild to moderate symptoms, other people may need to get emergency medical help as soon as possible.
Basic Food Allergy Symptoms
With that said, basic symptoms to a food allergy may include the following:
- Hives, itching, or the presence of eczema
- An itching or tingling feeling in the mouth
- Facial swelling including the tongue, throat, or lips
- Swelling that may be seen in other parts of the body besides the face
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea accompanied by abdominal pain or discomfort
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or, in extreme cases, fainting
A Severe Reaction
When the food allergy is severe, symptoms present themselves in the form of anaphylaxis. These life-threatening responses may include the following:
- Tightening of the passageways or airways
- Swelling of the throat or the sensation of a lump, either of which makes respiration difficult
- An extreme drop in blood pressure along with shock
- Dizziness or loss of consciousness
- A rapidly beating pulse
Don’t Wait to Get Medical Help
You should always call a doctor if you find it difficult to breathe or suffer from shock. Lightheadedness and rapid pulse also are warning signs that you have eaten the wrong food. So what foods should you avoid?
Not everyone who suffers from a food allergy knows what food caused the response. That is because the allergy may occur several hours after the food is eaten. If you are an adult, a food allergy reaction usually results from eating foods such as fish, tree-type nuts such as pecans or peanuts, and shellfish such as crab, lobster, or shrimp.
Foods That Trigger Allergies in Children
Children who suffer from food allergies usually get them after consuming wheat, soy, cow’s milk, eggs, walnuts, pecans, or peanuts.
Some foods can actually trigger a pollen-food allergy syndrome. If this happens, you need to see which pollen is associated with which food. For example, if you have hay fever and are naturally allergic to ragweed, you may also be allergic to melons, zucchini, and cucumbers. Should certain grasses cause you to sneeze in the spring and summer, you may also be allergic to potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes.
Only an allergy specialist can pinpoint your specific allergy problem. Find out more about scheduling an appointment for a loved one who has allergies or get more details yourself. Using the services of a medical specialist will help you alleviate the problems that have been giving you distress.