The Common Causes of Food Allergies

An allergy occurs when the immune system becomes suddenly reactive to a particular substance that is not detrimental to most individuals. In the case of food allergies, the body adversely reacts to a certain food protein. For some people, an allergic reaction to a particular food may be uncomfortable but not serious. For other people, however, food allergy can be scary and even fatal. Symptoms of food allergy start to take place after a couple of minutes to a couple of hours after consuming the offending food.

Common Symptoms of Food Allergy

  • Itching or tingling in the mouth
  • Eczema, hives or itching
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, and face or other body parts
  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting or nausea
  • Fainting, lightheadedness, or dizziness
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Sneezing, stuffy nose, or a dry cough
  • Funny taste in mouth

    Causes of Food Allergy

When you are allergic to a certain food, your immune system sees a specific substance in food as something dangerous. As a preventative response, the immune system stimulates cells to release an antibody called immunoglobulin to normalize the allergy-causing substance (the allergen).

The next time you consume even the tiniest amount of that food, the immunoglobulin antibodies will sense and send a signal to your immune system to release a chemical known as histamine, along with other chemicals, in your bloodstream. These chemicals and histamine are the ones responsible for causing allergy symptoms.

In adults, most of the food allergies are stimulated by certain proteins found in:

  • Peanuts
  • Gelatin
  • Corn
  • Seeds, usually poppy, sunflower, and sesame
  • Meet- chicken, pork, mutton, and beef
  • Shellfish, like crab, lobster, and shrimp
  • Fish
  • Tree nuts, like pecans and walnuts

In children, most of the food allergies are stimulated by certain proteins found in:

  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Cow’s milk
  • Pollen-food Allergy Syndrome

Pollen-food allergy syndrome, which is also known as oral allergy syndrome, mostly affects people with hay fever. In this condition, certain fresh veggies or fruits or spices or nuts can spark an allergic reaction that results in a tingling or itching mouth. In severe cases, the reaction can result in throat swelling or even anaphylaxis.

The presence of proteins in certain vegetables, fruits, spices and nuts cause the reaction since they are similar to allergens found in certain types of pollens.

Exercise-induced food allergy

Consuming certain types of food may cause in some individuals to feel lightheaded and itchy right after they start exercising. Severe instances may involve hives or even anaphylaxis. Not having anything for a few hours before exercising and staying away from certain foods may help avoid this problem.

Seeing an allergist

Contact an allergist or a doctor if you experience any of the above allergy symptoms soon after consuming food. Get in touch with us today, and we will help you schedule an appointment with the best Allergist in all of New York!

Call our offices at 212-319-5282 to schedule an appointment.

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