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The Most Common Food Allergies

By Sara Butler

Food allergies run amuck in the United States. When you eat something that triggers an abnormal immune response, then you have a food allergy. This causes your body to launch a full-scale attack on what it is identifying as a threat, resulting in the release of histamine, causing inflammation. It’s no secret that some food allergies can be life threatening, but not for everyone. For other people, food allergies can just cause you to feel yucky for a bit. Here are some of the most common food allergies and what you can do about them.

Symptoms of a Food Allergy

The symptoms of a food allergy don’t always show up right away, it can take hours after you eat something for them to occur. They often include some of these signs:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, or tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hives
  • Itchy rash
  • Diarrhea

In the most severe cases, food allergies can cause something called anaphylaxis, which happens quickly and can be fatal.

Food Allergies or Food Intolerance?

Food allergies and food intolerances are not the same thing. Food intolerances do not involve the immune system and aren’t life threatening, they just produce some uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating.

The Most Common Allergies

So, what are the most common foods that cause allergies in people? They are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish

What Can You Do?

If you suspect you have a food allergy, you will need to be tested. The most common tests are:

  • Dietary review – This is a detailed review of the things you eat, often involving the keeping of a journal that details what you eat, when you ate it, and what symptoms develop.
  • Skin prick test – This is when a small amount of food is pricked into your skin with a small needle. The skin is sectioned off and mapped out, then monitored for reactions to each substance.
  • Oral food challenge – This is when the food is eaten under medical supervision in gradually increasing amounts and you’re monitored for a reaction.

If you suspect you have a food allergy, it's something that should be brought to the attention of a medical professional. Often, the more you’re exposed to something the worse your reaction, so discovering what you’re allergic to is very important!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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