CHENNAI: Food allergy is an abnormal response to food triggered by the body’s immune system. They are most common in children but certain types of food can also affect people who are older
Symptoms of an allergic reaction involve skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract
- Swelling in mouth
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Trouble breathing
- Tightening of the throat
- Weak pulse
- Pale colouring of skin
While any food can cause allergy, common allergy triggers are
- Sea foods (shellfish)
- Tree nuts
- Seeds (sesame/mustard)
When you have a food allergy, your immune system mistakenly identifies the specific substance in food as harmful. In response, it triggers cells to release an antibody (IgE) to neutralise the allergy-causing food substance. The next time you eat even the minimum quantity of food, IgE antibodies signal your immune system to release a chemical, histamine, into your bloodstream, causing allergy symptoms.
The causes can be
- Family history
- Other allergies: If you have are already allergic to one food, you may be of increased risk of becoming allergic to other foods
- Age: Food allergy are common in children.
- Asthma/breathing trouble: Asthma and food allergy occur together. Food allergy can severe the breathing problem.
The best way to prevent allergic reaction is to avoid foods that cause symptoms
- Know what you are eating and drinking; read food label carefully
- Consult with doctor and carry medicine
- Carry meal or snacks before leaving home
- Avoid outside foods
The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic