Food allergy is a medical condition where particular foods actuate the immune system to respond abnormally. As the body responds to eliminate the potential danger, it results in damage and severe symptoms. Akin to other allergies, food allergy happens only in a certain population. Surprisingly, the food that has resulted in a severe allergic reaction in one person may be harmless in another person.
Different food allergens trigger a similar allergic response. Therefore, most symptoms of allergy are similar in allergies caused by different foods. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Running nose
- Itchy, red, and watery eyes
- Skin swelling
- Stomach upset
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Common Food that Trigger Allergies
Since food allergy is a health risk, it is good to know common foods that cause allergies. Consequently, the following are among the top foods that trigger allergies.
Milk allergy presents mainly in children and babies. The allergy is triggered even by a very small amount of cow, goat, or sheep’s milk. Interestingly, in some cases, nursing mothers who drink milk while breastfeeding their babies may trigger an allergy in their babies. In children or adults who have milk allergies, the symptoms present in about five and thirty minutes.
The component in milk that causes allergy is called casein. Casein is a major protein in milk. Notably, the immune reaction against cow milk can be IgE mediated or non-IgE. However, a chemical called histamine is released, which causes the symptoms.
A good number of people are allergic to eggs, especially egg whites. Although they have different experiences, many of them do not react to the yolk. Interestingly, some people known to have allergies can eat cooked or baked eggs without any problem. Consequently, the main proteins that trigger the allergies are ovalbumin, ovomucoid, and ovotransferrin.
Wheat allergy is noticed in childhood. Fortunately, many children outgrow the allergy on continued exposure. Although there are many types of protein in wheat, the identified allergen is gluten. However, a true allergic reaction to wheat is a result of many proteins in wheat. Since wheat allergy presents mainly with digestive tract symptoms, it is often confused with celiac disease. However, there is a skin test to differentiate the two.
Fish allergies are common in adults. The allergy is triggered after eating a certain kind of fish. The main allergen in fish is called parvalbumin. Since fish carry different proteins, people with allergies to one type can safely eat another type of fish. Due to the likely confusion, all people with allergies to fish are advised to carry an epi-pen.
Tree nuts have many nutritious components, thus are loved by many people. However, they can cause fatal allergic reactions in some people. The main allergens in nuts belong to vicilin, legumin, and albumin families. Common nuts that cause allergies include walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. It is prudent to note that many people have an allergy to specific nuts and not all nuts.
Soy protein can trigger allergies in some people. The protein is mainly found in soybeans, which are considered generally a good source of protein. If a person is allergic to soy protein, then they should not consume any products having soy. Interestingly, soy allergy is inheritable, hence easy to trace. Besides, there is a skin test to diagnose soy allergy.
Knowledge of foods that trigger allergic reactions is essential in preparing mitigation and management measures. Besides, it is prudent to avoid foods and food products that predispose you to an allergic reaction.