A food allergy is the reaction of the immune system to the ingestion of certain foods. Certain substances contained in this food are recognized as dangerous to the body, and the phenomenon can cause a chain reaction that can be life-threatening in some cases.
Food Allergy Symptoms
Food allergy generally causes an immediate reaction ( rarely after 24 -48 hours) and sometimes a very severe reaction like:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or uvula, redness and itching in the mouth, nausea or vomiting, colic, and diarrhea.
- Skin Symptoms such as itching, acne, rash, eczema, and hives.
- Others include headache, swelling of the eyelids (edema), swelling of hands, feet, and even face and throat.
- In the most severe form (anaphylactic shock) edema in the throat obstructs breathing and can be life-threatening, In some cases, unconsciousness or coma may be observed.
Why Are Food Allergies On The Rise?
Several hypotheses have been proposed as to why food allergies are on the increase, especially in children, some, possible reasons are:
Food diversity will continue to advance, air travel and the globalization of foods have given us access to many foods that our ancestors were unaware of. In addition, premature dietary changes in infancy are associated with an increase in cases of such allergies.
Others are advancements in breeding new varieties of grains, fruits, and vegetables that have changed their chemical composition. This phenomenon exposes us to new proteins or to much larger quantities of existing proteins.
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How To Manage Food Allergies
The best way to manage food allergies is to eliminate the offensive food from your diet. This issue can be complicated for the fact that many products and preparations contain specific allergens. This is the case with peanuts, which are widespread in the food industry, and even in toilets and hygiene products.
Reading labels is of course Important
This is another good avenue to manage allergy by having enough information about what you’re about to consume, but many manufacturers protect themselves from legal actions by showing traces of allergenic foods even if their products do not contain them. Therefore reading can sometimes be a source of frustration.
Parents thereby have a very difficult time identifying products that are safe for their allergic children to consume.
- Food allergic management in the school
- Special measures are taken in school to accommodate pupils who suffer from food allergies.
Can Food Allergies Be Prevented?
To prevent the development of food allergies, most importantly in children, several rules will help:
- Avoid foods that cause allergies while breastfeeding, especially if one or both parents are prone to allergies such as (hay fever, or asthma).
- A child with an allergy quickly learns which foods are prohibited, and what is the first sign if an attack appears.
- You can help your child understand his or her illness by systematically reading out the ingredients list of foods that can and cannot be eaten.
- This will help them to learn the different shapes and names of foods they are allergic to and dispel arbitrary feelings they may feel when a good ban is imposed.
When traveling or going out, you should always carry the following:
- Corticosteroid medications in tablet form for severe attack.
- The antihistamine in tablet form is to be taken in case of moderate attacks.
- Bronchodilator for inhalation during an asthma attack.
- For international travel, a current prescription from your doctor, preferably in the language of your destination.
Food allergies are most common in children who are yet to fully understand how some of these substances may react in their bodies. Parents should carefully explain in detail how allergic they may be to some of these foods and possible preventive measures to be taken.