A Look at the Cause of Food Allergy
An allergy takes place when the immune system suddenly has an abnormal response to a certain material that is usually not detrimental to most individuals except those who have allergies. When an allergy is triggered by a substance or allergen, a person’s body recognizes this as a trespasser and subsequently releases chemicals to fight off the “trespasser” causing symptoms that can range from a simple irritation to a fatal reaction that may even lead to death.
Food allergy is a reaction made by the immune system in which antibodies are produced by the body as a result of a negative effect to some foods. Though there are many individuals who claim that they have food allergies, there are only a few who really have certain allergic reactions to food. Most people confuse food allergy with food intolerance. Food intolerance and food allergy are both sensitivity reactions to food, but intolerance to certain types of food does not affect the immune system and isn’t really a life threatening incident.
As of the present time, the medical world still has not found any cure for food allergies. Allergy management only involves the prevention of intake of food allergens and some diet modifications.
Looking closely, during an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system releases antibodies, specifically immunoglobulin E. It subsequently causes the production of chemicals like histamine in the process of “protecting” the body. Now, these chemicals are the root cause of symptoms which may include an irritation in the eyes, skin, throat, lungs, and the gastrointestinal organs. These takes place whenever the individual is exposed to the allergen.
Although any type of food can cause allergic reactions to different types of individuals, there are eight major foods out there that are often the main culprits of an allergic reaction. These eight major allergy-causing foods are: fish, soy, milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.
By and large, individuals afflicted with allergies react only to some allergy-causing foods. Sometimes, allergy to a certain type of food may also cause allergic reaction to foods that may be related with the allergen food. This incidence is known as cross-reaction. For instance, an allergic reaction to wheat may also cause a reaction to rye. Allergy to pollens subsequently causes an allergy to green apples, hazelnuts, almonds, and peaches. A reaction to goat’s milk may also be associated with an allergy to cow’s milk. And the list goes on and on.
Moreover, individuals who have been afflicted with asthma and/or eczema may also be at risk of developing a food allergy. With bad luck, they would probably have a reaction that is more severe than those people who only have food allergy to worry about. This is due to the fact that when an allergy takes place the person will be under stress which then may lead to triggering their asthma and/or eczema which will aggravate the situation.
But the intensity of the reaction will depend on some circumstances like the individual’s sensitivity threshold to the food allergen, amount of eaten food, and the exposure scale the person has to the food.
Although, there is no cure to allergies, self-discipline and vigilance will help you, the allergy-sufferer, overcome these food problems. There may be some medications out there that alleviate the symptoms but a consultation to the physician will give you a better understanding to your allergy problems as well as treatment recommendations.