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Common Food Allergies

 

1. Soy

Today soybeans have become prominent ingredient of most processed foods and might be difficult to avoid. Soy is not necessarily a diet on its own but an ingredient of most foods. The following foods that contain soy are:

  • Sauces
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Canned tuna
  • Baked products
  • Soups
  • Infant formula
  • Rarely found in peanut butter

 

2. Peanuts or Tree Nuts 

If you think you're allergic to peanuts or tree nuts you must see your doctor (preferably an allergist or a dietician) for skin test and confirmation. Just a minimal amount of nuts extracts in your diet may also be life-threatening.

If you continue eating peanuts or foods containing peanuts your symptoms may become fatal or even result in anaphylactic shock reaction. This reaction is life-threatening and is mostly characterized by:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Choking
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Peanuts are sometimes referred to as hydrolyzed vegetable protein or groundnuts. When you check the ingredients for peanuts also look for hydrolyzed vegetable protein or groundnuts.

Look for tree nuts in several snacks and other foods. Tree nuts are mostly used in the following foods:

  • Barbecue sauces
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Ice cream

 

3. Eggs

Although most children outgrow egg allergy by the time they're five years old, egg allergy remains the most common food allergy in infants and young children. Eggs and any foods that contain eggs must be avoided at all cost to reduce the severity of food allergies.

Eggs contain protein and most of it is highly allergenic. Four major allergenic proteins found in the egg white include:

  • Ovalbumin (makes up 50% of the allergens found in egg white)
  • Ovomucoid
  • Ovtransferrin
  • Lysozyme

There are also some people that are allergic to the yolk (the yellow part of the egg). Allergenic proteins found in the yolk include:

  • Phosvitin
  • Apovitellenins 1
  • Apovitellenins IV

 

4. Wheat

When any wheat protein is regarded by your body as foreign or harmful, the immunoglobulin antibodies E are released by the body as a form of defense. There are four major proteins in wheat: albumin, globulin, gliadin and glutenin. These proteins vary in proportion according to the type of wheat. Scientists cannot understand why the body regards certain wheat protein as harmful or foreign.

Wheat allergy can occur to anyone and it is not hereditary. There are no specific figures for the prevalence of wheat allergy but it is relatively uncommon. Allergic reactions to wheat may be caused by ingestion of wheat-containing foods or by inhalation of flour containing wheat.

Allergic reactions to wheat usually show up within minutes or a few hours after eating or inhaling wheat. Usually wheat-mediated symptoms involve the skin, the respiratory tract, and the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Skin symptoms (eczema, hives, or swelling)
  • Respiratory symptoms (asthma, allergic rhinitis, hayfever etc.)
  • Gastrointestinal tract (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps etc.)

If you experience any of these symptoms, see a dietician or allergist for diagnosis. The best method of treating wheat allergies is to avoid all foods that contain wheat. Most cereals may contain some wheat protein, so you must really talk to a dietician or an allergist.

 

5. Seafood Allergies

Although most prevalent in adults, seafood allergies may also affect your child. In fact, fish allergies are more prevalent in children while shellfish allergies are more prevalent in adults. Seafood allergies are very common in the U.S. with about 1 in 50 people allergic to shellfish, and 1 in 250 affected by fish.

Fish allergies are more prevalent in Spain and Scandinavian countries. Most allergenic fish types include:

  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Bass
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines

Most allergenic shellfish types include:

  • Shrimp (more common in the Southern U.S)
  • Crab and lobster
  • Squid
  • Scallop
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Snails

 

What do I do with my food allergies?

There's currently no practical way of eliminating or curing food allergies, but avoidance has proven to be the best alternative known for lessening the severity of food allergies.

First visit your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and determination of your symptoms. They will help you determine what food you are allergic to.

Read all the ingredients of any food item you purchase and avoid all items containing allergenic ingredients.

For emergency purposes, be sure to wear a medic alert bracelet that describes your allergies and carry an adrenaline kit in case of anaphylactic shock.

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