Here Is What You Should Do For Your Food Allergy
Did you know that more than 250 million people in the globe suffer from food allergies, and more than 170 foods are reported to cause allergic reactions.
Food allergies are life-threatening problems that are typically caused by the immune system, commonly involving immunoglobulin E(IgE) antibodies.
Food Allergy Or Food Intolerance?
Although food allergies and food intolerance have many common symptoms, like bloating or cramping, they aren’t the same.
Food allergies are life-threatening, whereas food intolerance is not.
Most people get confused about them because of their symptoms and similarities, but knowing their differences can help you understand them and take care of yourself better.
Food allergies are autoimmune problems typically caused by the immune system and involve immunoglobulin E(IgE ).
A food allergy reaction occurs when the immune system incorrectly identifies particular food as a danger and produces E(IgE ) bodies.
What Are lgE antibodies?
Individuals who are allergic to specific proteins in foods develop IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies against those proteins. IgE is a protective blood protein that is produced when your body detects a threat. Measurable IgE levels may thus indicate the presence of an allergy.
Food Allergy Symptoms
Food allergy symptoms can vary from person to person, and a single person may not always exhibit the same symptoms during each reaction. Food allergies can affect the skin, respiratory or gastrointestinal tract, or cardiovascular system and food allergy can develop at different ages.
Most people will experience food allergy symptoms just after 30 minutes of eating, as food allergy symptoms vary, but still, there are some common allergy symptoms which are as below.
- A decrease in blood pressure
- Breathing difficulties
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
- Itching, hives, or swelling of the skin.
Food Intolerance is a digestive problem; our bodies usually produce enzymes that help us to digest certain macronutrients and if our bodies don’t produce enough enzymes or due to poor absorption of certain foods causes food intolerance.
The most common symptoms of food intolerance are.
- Constipation or abdominal cramping.
Most Common Food Intolerance
The most common food that causes intolerance includes gluten, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, nuts, and dairy products, but you can develop intolerance to almost any food.
Food Allergy Diagnosis:
There are many methods that help to diagnose the underlying cause of Food Allergies.
Your doctor will consider and look into several factors to diagnose a food allergy.
- Your Symptoms
Your doctor will look into the detailed history of your health issue, which foods you have taken, and what exactly is causing the problem.
2. Family History
Some diseases are caused genetically; a doctor will also examine your family history. So if any of your relatives have any allergies, share them with your doctor. It will help to diagnose your problem and give a solution accurately.
3. Specific Diet
By putting you on a special diet, your allergist may be able to narrow down the search for foods that cause allergies. You may be asked to maintain a list of food and diary entries you eat on a daily basis and the symptoms you feel after eating them.
Food Allergies Test:
Several tests will be performed by your health professional for food allergy testing in order to obtain more accurate results and determine the root cause of your allergic reactions.
- Skin Prick Test
Skin Prick Test is a common test that doctors perform to test food allergies.
In this test, a healthcare provider will prick the top layer of the skin and insert a small amount of the suspected food substance.
If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop an itchy bump similar to a mosquito bite, which the provider will use to diagnose your allergies.
- lgE Blood Test
A blood test can evaluate your immune system’s response to specific foods by measuring immunoglobulin E, an allergy-related antibody (IgE). A healthcare professional will use a small needle to draw blood from your arm veins.
Following needle insertion, a small amount of blood is collected in a test tube or vial. You may feel a slight sting when the needle goes in or out. This whole process will usually take less than five minutes.
A high total IgE test result indicates that you may have an allergy. However, the results of an entire IgE test do not reveal what you are allergic to or how severe your allergy may be.
- Oral Food Test.
During an oral food challenge, a person gradually consumes increasing amounts of a potential food allergen while the doctor monitors for symptoms.
A small amount of the suspected food will be given to you at various intervals during this test. You can include this food back in your diet if you do not react during the trial.
Food allergies can trigger severe reactions in people, so this test must be conducted in a hospital with medicines and specialists available to control these reactions.
Food Allergy Treatments:
Avoiding foods that cause allergic reactions is the only and best way to avoid allergic reactions.
For minor symptoms, over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamines may help.
For severe cases, an emergency injection of epinephrine may be required. Epinephrine keeps blood pressure up by constricting blood vessels and easing the airways.
Allergy Test At Home.
The market is flooded with at-home allergy tests but it is essential to conduct research before choosing one. In the case of severe allergies, these kits are not a suitable substitute for a visit to your allergist.
Most at-home allergy tests require taking a small blood sample from your finger. A blood sample is placed on a paper or test strip and sent to a lab for allergy testing. Your test results are usually available within a few business days of receiving your sample.
The results will generally indicate whether your blood sample contained immunoglobulins that show allergies. Each allergen level may be classified as low, medium, or high.
But remember, these tests are not definitive, and only a doctor can diagnose an allergy and its underlying cause.
Food allergies can be caused due to numerous reasons,at-home tests can sometimes give false results, so it’s better to consult with your doctor or an allergist to diagnose this issue better.
If your allergist confirms that you have an allergy, you can also discuss possible plans and treatments to overcome this issue and how to avoid allergen exposure.