food allergy information from trusted sources:
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body's immune system. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious illness and death. Tree nuts and peanuts are the leading causes of deadly allergic reactions called anaphylaxis. In adults, the foods that most often trigger allergic reactions include
Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
For someone with a food allergy, eating or swallowing even a tiny amount of a particular food can cause symptoms such as skin rash, nausea, vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. Because the body is reacting to something that is otherwise harmless, this type of allergic reaction is often called a hypersensitivity reaction. Rarely, a severe allergic reaction can cause a life-threatening set of symptoms called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock. Although about 25% of people believe they have a food allergy, only about 2.5% of adults and about 6-8% of children, mainly younger than 6 years, have true food allergies. The rest have what is known as food intolerancean undesirable reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system.
The immune system is the body's way to protect itself from substances that it identifies as not its own. The immune system reacts to things that may cause disease, and fights them off. A food allergy happens when your immune system responds after you eat certain foods. Your body makes a mistake and thinks that a certain food is harmful. These foods may not bother other people.
If you suspect that you or your child has a food allergy, see your GP straight away. Your GP will ask you questions to find out whether a food allergy is likely. They may also ask about the type of reaction or reactions you or your child have had, how soon after eating the food they occurred, whether they occur only with cooked or raw foods and how long you or your child have been experiencing the symptoms. Your doctor will also want to know whether there are symptoms of other allergies – such as asthma or hayfever – or whether these allergies are common in your family.
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about a clearer understanding of the issues surrounding food allergies and providing helpful resources.
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