When we think about food allergies, we tend to limit them to peanuts, shellfish, and gluten, however, there is a long list of food allergy triggers, and because symptoms tend to mild in most cases you may not know you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
Food allergies are a lot more common than we think, this condition affects some 15 million Americans especially children, according to statistics 1 in every 13 kids in America has a food allergy, and every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
As part of Altus Emergency Center’s educational efforts during Food Allergy Action Month, we have compiled a list of the most common food allergies and their symptoms, to help you recognize this potentially deadly condition.
What are Food Allergies
Like other allergic reactions, food allergies are an abnormal immune response; they happen when the immune system wrongfully identify certain proteins found in food as harmful.
The severity of the allergic reaction ranges from mild symptoms to life-threatening ones, and it can be triggered even by very small amounts of the problem food.
In most instances, the symptoms of an allergic reaction happen a few minutes after exposure, but they can also manifest a few hours later, the most common allergic reaction symptoms include:
- – Swelling of tongue, mouth, or face
- – Itchy rash
- – Hives
- – Difficulty breathing
- – Low blood pressure
- – Nausea and vomiting
- – Diarrhea
Most Common Food Allergies
Because symptoms can manifest hours after the exposure, sometimes the cause of the allergic reaction is not easily recognized, and if the symptoms are mild most people may ignore them.
The following list includes the most common food allergies, however, there are many more triggers, if you suspect you may have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which foods are harmful to you.
Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment.
Allergic reactions to peanuts are one of the most common and deadly food allergies, it affects 1 in every 500 individuals and is responsible for more than half of all deaths from food-related allergic reactions.
- – Itchy skin or hives that can show in small spots or large welts
- – Itchy or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
- – Nausea
- – Runny or congested nose
- – Anaphylaxis
Shellfish is the most common and most dangerous food allergens, it is responsible for most of the food allergy related ER visits.
– Stomach cramps
– Hives all over the body
– Shortness of breath and wheezing
– A repetitive cough
– Tight, hoarse throat and trouble swallowing
– Swelling of the tongue and or lips
– Weak pulse
– Pale or bluish skin color
– Dizziness and confusion
This is a tricky one to recognize since corn and corn by-products are widely used in processed foods, and to make matters worse, it is also difficult to diagnose through standard skin or blood tests, this means that in many cases your doctor may recommend eliminating corn products from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.
– Hives and Skin Rash
– Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea
– Stuffy or runny nose
– Anaphylaxis in severe cases
This type of allergy affects about 2% of children in the United States, the good news is that studies have shown that 70% of these children outgrow the condition by age 16.
-Skin rash or hives
-And in very rare cases anaphylaxis
Unlike most food allergies which develop since childhood, the majority of people who suffer from fish allergies report experiencing them for the first time as adults.
Being allergic to fish does not necessarily mean you are also allergic to shellfish.
– Hives or skin rash
– Stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and or diarrhea
– A stuffy or runny nose, and or sneezing
Cow Milk Allergy
Between 2% and 3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to cow’s milk, around 80% of them will outgrow the condition by age 16 though.
– Stomach upset
– Bloody stools especially in infants
Tree Nut Allergy
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts are all tree nuts, and along with peanuts and shellfish, they are the most common allergens linked to anaphylaxis.
– Difficulty Swallowing
– Itching and or swelling of the mouth, eyes, and throat
– Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting
– Nasal congestion
– Shortness of breath
When to Visit Our Emergency Centers
For most people food allergy symptoms are mild and can easily be treated with an antihistamine, however, if you or someone you know experiences, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or their skin turns pale or a blueish tone, rush them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.
We recommend you download the anaphylaxis emergency action plan and have your doctor fill it out, carry this with you at all times, it will help our doctors save your life.
Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency
Food allergies are both serious and can be life-threatening. For this reason, by being aware of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, you can help save a life. It may be your own. If you observe any possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction, please keep in mind that you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.
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