The human immune system may overreact to certain food items, causing severe allergic reactions. From digestive problems, itchiness, swelling, vomiting to breathing trouble, the symptoms of the allergic reactions may vary. If undiagnosed or ignored, food allergies may even cause death.
Food allergies are caused when the body mistakes protein as an unwanted element and the immune systems reject them. If the body reacts to an element in any food item once, then it would trigger allergic reaction whenever that food item is consumed, even in small quantities.
Food allergies are of two types – IGE Mediated food allergy and non-IGE Mediated food allergy. The IGE antibodies cause the IGE Mediated food allergies. The symptoms of this allergy are prominent and visible. Hives and rashes, swelling around the eyes and vomiting are some of its symptoms.
A few factors in the immune system of the body are responsible for the non-IGE Mediated food allergies. In this type, the symptoms aren't very prominent and may even take a while to show. This mainly affects the digestive system of the body. Vomiting, diarrhea and bloating are some of the symptoms of this type of food allergy.
The protein in the food item is the main factor that causes allergy. Besides, the preservatives and the colorants that are added in package foods too may cause allergy. Fungus may grow on the refrigerated food items due to variations in temperature when the door of the fridge is opened and closed frequently. Consuming such food may trigger allergic reactions in some. Allergies may be caused by eating raw vegetables as well. However, the same vegetables, when cooked, may not trigger any allergic reaction. The allergens in the vegetables would be destroyed they are cooked.
While the symptoms of food allergies may be mild in some people, it could be severe in some others. In some cases, allergies may lead to severe anaphylaxis or breathing trouble which could be fatal. Breathing trouble, high blood pressure, high pulse rate and unconsciousness are some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Common food items that cause allergies:
• The protein in vegetables like beetroot, cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, onion, sweet corn and ginger
• Citrus fruits like orange and grapes
• The protein in red meats like beef and pork
• Crustaceans like lobster, prawns, squid, crab and mussels and fishes like shark and stingray.
• Egg white; ice creams and mayonnaise made using eggs
• Milk and milk products
• Gluten contained in wheat, corn, barley and oats
• Peanuts, walnuts, almonds or peanut butter
• Sprout potatoes and mushroom