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Published on April 25, 2013

The Effect of Food Allergies

April 25, 2013

Food AllergiesAccording to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), a food allergy occurs when an allergic antibody called IgE (Immunoglobulin E) causes your immune system to overreact to a food. Proteins in foods usually signal an allergic reaction, even after a food has been well-cooked or digested.

Your first clue is the reaction itself. Red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin (hives) are the most common symptom of a food allergy. However, there are many different symptoms including eczema, asthma, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or a red last around the mouth. Some food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction characterized by a warm feeling, flushing, mouth tingling, and a red, itchy rash.

Treating food allergies depends on what type of allergy occurs. Anaphylaxis is a serious reacation that should be treated immediately in an emergency room. Many reactions, however, do not require acute care. The first step in diagnosing and treating food allergies is a visit to an allergist. In addition to your physician’s recommendations, there are a variety of methods to treat allergies. KishHealth System and AAAAI recommend:

  • Don’t Eat It. Don’t eat what you’re allergic to.
  • Ask Questions. Whether you’re at a restaurant or someone’s home, ask about the ingredients used to make the meal.
  • Labels Are For Reading. Know both the familiar and scientific names for foods so you can avoid all possible allergens.
  • Be Prepared. Wear an identification bracelet, carry your medication (if prescribed), and follow-up with your allergist.

Have a food allergy and still want to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition? Nutrition Counseling is available at Kishwaukee Community Hospital and can help get your diet back on track. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 815.748.2964.

Sources: niaid.nih.gov, foodallergy.org, aaaai.org, medicinenet.com, kidshealth.org, webmd.com

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