An allergic reaction to food may be a scary experience. Even for those who have had no past problems with a particular type of food should be cautious as allergies can develop overtime.
If you are worried that you may be having an allergic reaction to food, chances are that you should seek medical treatment or in the very least, get tested for that allergy. Here we will talk about how to identify an allergic reaction to food, among other things:
An allergic reaction to food can vary in severity. If in doubt look for symptoms such as hives or itching as well as a swollen face, mouth, tongue or throat. Other symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing or wheezing. Those who are experiencing this type of allergic reaction to food may feel faint, dizzy or may even lose consciousness.
In extreme cases, anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition where the patient cannot breathe properly may be experienced. In cases of anaphylaxis call 911 immediately. Do not delay as the patient may be in danger.
Differences between Food Intolerance and Allergic Reactions to Food
Food intolerance is a delayed reaction that can be brought on by ingesting a certain type of food or chemical. Although these may be just as serious as an allergic reaction to food they are not technically food allergies. In this case, antibodies in the body are not released against the food. Often these may actually be harder for your doctor to diagnose or determine than a food allergy. Just like a food allergy these may occur for a variety of reasons. Whether dealing with food intolerance or food allergies, when in doubt or in extreme cases call 911, immediately.
When to Call a Doctor
If your allergic reaction to a particular food does not seem overwhelming, you may not deem it necessary to call a doctor immediately or seek medical attention. However you should seek medical attention as your doctor can help you to properly identify the food or substance you had an allergic reaction to, as well as the need for further tests or treatments. Doctors may determine the food you had an allergic reaction to through a serious of tests on the skin or blood, through the elimination diet, by getting familiar with a history of the condition, and the double-blind allergy test.
The most common treatment for food allergies is elimination from the diet of the patient. In most cases this is the safest, most effective way to deal with either food intolerance or food allergies no matter their severity. When not experiencing anaphylaxis, common medicines like antihistamines can help in treatment as can other medications. Those patients who are extremely allergic to certain foods may have to carry a shot of ephedrine with them at all times, in order to keep from experiencing any life-threatening symptoms. Patients should be trained in how to use this and should keep it on them at all times.
Common Foods People May Have Allergic Reactions To
There are quite a few foods people may have allergic reactions. These include peanuts, dairy, soy, eggs, shellfish and tree nuts. Common food allergies may actually differ based upon age. Children can sometimes outgrow certain types of food
allergies over time. Adults can also develop them over time. Having an allergic reaction to food may also be caused in part, what types of food are eaten very often. Japanese people for instance, often develop a rice allergy over time. Others in other cultures and countries may also develop other allergies based upon what foods they eat regularly.
Avoidance: Most Likely the Best Option
As a final word it should be said that no matter how severe (or not) an allergic reaction is to food, you should take steps to identify it with your doctor. Then you should do your best to abstain from that food. Do not assume that others know your allergy. Always be sure to let them know especially in cases of entertaining, dinners, shared meals or even parties. Always remind your waiter when you decide to dine out. In some cases, dishes or menus can be redesigned around food allergies, depending upon what food allergies they are.