Food allergy is a condition in which the immune system reaction occurs to a particular food. The food containing certain protein, carbohydrates and other natural compounds when consumed triggers mistakenly as a threat to our body. The onset time is rapid and the symptoms vary from person to person. The symptoms can begin within few minutes to two hours after consumption of food. The body’s immune system produces antibodies called immunoglobulin IgE to fight against the food allergen. These antibodies release chemicals called histamines that trigger allergic symptoms.
The most common food allergies are-
- Wheat and soy
- Fish, shellfish like shrimps and other marine foods.
- Trouble breathing, coughing, wheezing
- Itchy, watery or swollen eyes
- Stomachache, nausea and vomiting
- Red spots
- Drop in blood pressure causing lightheadedness
Sometimes food allergy can cause a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Food intolerance is not an allergy. It occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a certain food. That’s because he/she doesn’t produce the enzyme required to metabolize it. Food intolerance doesn’t involve immune system. The symptoms are similar to food allergy but are less serious and takes longer time to emerge.
- irritable bowel,
- hives, cough, and runny nose.
Diagnosis of Food Allergy
Symptoms may vary from person to person and depends upon quantity of food that is consumed. The diagnosis can be done by following ways-
1.Skin prick test-
In this test a liquid containing a certain food allergen is injected into the skin of arm or back. Your allergist observes the presence of bump in the injected part. If it develops then it is conformed that you are allergic to that substance.
The blood test measures the amount of IgE antibody.
3. Hydrogen test
4. Lactose Intolerance test
There is no specific cure for food allergy. It is best to avoid the foods that you are allergic to them. Some of the preventive measures are written below:
- Always read the food labels carefully.
- While eating out make sure that the food doesn’t contain any allergens like eggs, peanuts or any kind of food that triggers allergic reaction.
If you have any queries regarding food allergy and food intolerance. Then message me.