Overview of Food Allergies
Food allergies occur when the body does not accept nutrients eaten by a person. The body, in turn, responds and this results in an allergic reaction. The body views the unwelcome food as bacteria or foreign matter and reacts accordingly.
There are, however, specific foods that are most likely the cause of allergies. For example, with children the following foods are known to cause allergies:
-Some seafood (shelled)
-Some tree nuts like almonds or cashews
With a lot of cases, allergic reactions happen within half an hour after one has consumed the food. At other times, reactions can occur after five or ten minutes subsequent to eating and up to six hours later.
Food Allergy Signs
It is difficult to detect a specific allergy related to food because of the multitude of symptoms that one could have. The following are some of the symptoms:
-Nausea and vomiting
-Mouth and face swelling
-Superficial skin rashes
-Issues with breathing
-Blood in stool
-Delayed normal growth in children
Anaphylaxis can happen in the most urgent cases, which can lead to death if proper care is not provided.
Stopping Food Allergies from Occurring
There are several strategies that one can employ to help prevent the onset of food related allergies.
Solid foods should not be fed to infants under the age of six months.
Infants should only be breastfed for at least the first six months after birth.
New foods should only be fed intermittently and gradually to young children.
Cow milk should not be fed to children who are under one year old.
Doctors should be consulted especially when there is a family history of food allergies. Breast feeding should also be continued while other alternatives such as bottled baby formula be discussed with a medical professional.
The traditional allergy foods listed above should be approached with caution while seeking advice from a medical professional. These foods may also be avoided all together until children are a little older.
Prevention goes a long way in stopping food allergies. The best strategies are as follows:
Educating one’s self about allergies in general as well as the common symptoms.
Stay away from certain foods that cause allergies.
Educate yourself on CPR methods.
Make sure that others are aware of one’s food allergies.
Defining food intolerance
Food intolerance is distinguishable from food allergies. Food intolerance may cause diarrhea, swelling, and stomach aches. The digestion of specific foods such as milk products may cause intolerance to some nutrients. In these cases, no allergies occur.
Food intolerance occurs several hours after the specific food is eaten.
Food intolerance will occur only after a large amount of the food is consumed, which is not the case with allergies.
Food intolerances are not hazardous when compared with allergies.