Food allergies represent exaggerated reactions of the immune system due to the ingestion of a aliment or food additive. Unlike the food intolerance or food poisoning , allergies involve a immune system reaction. In this case the body reacts to a food intake that is called in this case allergen, unleashing a series of defence mechanisms. A food allergy occurs as a reaction to a protein that can be present in peanuts, milk, fish and so on. Therefore allergy to lipids or carbohydrates cannot exist or have not been described in medical books yet, although intolerance to lactose ( a type of carbohydrate that is present in milk) can occur.
This way in a food allergy case , even a small quantity of milk for example can cause symptoms. There is no cure fo food allergies , the only solution is to avoid the type of aliment that contains the allergen.
Food allergy symptoms can be from mild ones to sever and potentially fatal ones : difficulty in breathing, loss of conscience , or heart arrhythmia in the case of anaphylactic shock( a very fast and severe hypersensitivity reaction to a substance which the organism has came in contact with). Symptoms can include:
- Itchy and swollen lips
- Swollen tongue
- Swollen throat
- Dermatological reactions (rash, hives ,eczema , swelling and itching)
- Vomiting , bloating the sick sensation
- A runny nose
- Red , sore eyes that itch
Please note that these symptoms are not specific only to food allergy and can occur in many other health problems.
Food allergies can be present at any age , but generally appear before 4 .At that early age the digestive system and immune system are not fully evolved and therefore more sensitive to allergens. Some allergies diminish and vanish with the pass of time.
The incidence ( the relative frequency chance of occurrence of an event or something) of food allergys and other disturbances assume the existence of a atopic background like eczema, runny nose, asthma, hives and so on.