Food allergies can create real complications in your life, and can even be life-threatening. If you suffer from food allergies, this means your immune system is reacting to a certain substance, which you ingested.
The Immune System Defense
The immune system has a clear-cut purpose, which is to defend the body by keeping viruses, bacteria, and fungi out and kill off infectious invaders of the body.
Once an innocent substance enters the body of someone who’s allergic to it, then the immune system mistakes it for a hostile organism.
It goes into overkill and produces antibodies to help destroy the allergen.
These chemicals are what trigger your allergic reactions and wreak havoc on your body.
The symptoms are the result of this attack.
The reaction to food allergies takes place within two hours of ingesting the allergen, and could be a runny nose, cough, rash, abdominal pain or swelling in parts of the face.
These are mild symptoms. There are other types of symptoms, which are more severe, such as difficulty talking, a persistent cough, loss of consciousness, swelling of the tongue.
It could even go so far as manifest itself in a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, like difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, shortness of breath or vomiting.
There’s not a set standard for what makes someone allergic to this type of food, and not that. However, there is an agreement in the medical world with regards to what are the most well-known allergens:
Even though allergies affect people of all ages and races, those with a history of allergies in their families are more likely to develop them than those without.
However, many medical experts believe that food allergies are somewhat of an epidemic, which is getting worse and worse with every generation.
The fact that our grandparents rarely encountered such things as food allergies are largely due to the following:
- A lack of processed foods
- Enjoyed a nutrient-dense diet of fresh food
- They cooked their food at home and from scratch
- They spent a good portion of their day outside
- Their food wasn’t treated with additives and preservatives
While it may be restricting and uncomfortable, those who suffer from food allergies must avoid the very foods that cause their allergies to break out.
They should also carry injectable epinephrine (EpiPen®) for treating severe, life-threatening allergic reactions.
A smart decision would be to wear an identification bracelet or necklace, with a short description of the type of allergy the person suffers from.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, it is very important to see your doctor and learn all the necessary precautions that may very possibly save your life.