From one Food allergy or Food allergy one speaks when the body of the person concerned is overly sensitive to various foods or foods. This leads to allergic reactions with typical signs and symptoms. Abdominal pain, shortness of breath, asthmatic attacks, reddening of the skin, sneezing and constant runny nose are particularly characteristic. Since a food allergy can also lead to circulatory shock, a doctor should always be consulted at an early stage.
The most severe form of complications can be from a Food allergy occur in the form of a severe allergic reaction or even anaphylactic shock.
From Food allergy or Food allergy one speaks when certain foods or components of the diet cause an intolerance reaction.This can range from a mild skin rash to a severe allergic shock reaction.
However, not all food intolerances are allergies. Around a third of adults believe they are allergic to a certain food. A closer examination reveals a food allergy in only 2% of adults. The remaining 31% is an intolerance caused by food poisoning, a psychological aversion to the food or a food intolerance.
Compared to the other intolerance reactions, a Food allergy the immune system can be involved in the defense reaction. A normally harmless component of the food, usually a protein, is viewed by the body as a supposed threat and triggers an immunological counter-reaction. Antibodies and messenger substances such as histamine are then produced. They are responsible for the symptoms of the allergy such as itching of the skin and eyes, swelling of the oral and nasal mucosa, runny nose, allergic asthma, nausea or diarrhea.
The likelihood of developing a food allergy depends on the family history. If one of the parents suffers from an allergy, the probability that the child will also develop an allergy is about twice as high. If both parents are allergic, the risk increases four to six times. Breastfeeding seems to protect against the development of food allergies. Studies show that infants breastfed during the first 4-6 months have a lower risk of developing allergies than infants who were fed formula.
A distinction must be made between food allergies (food allergies) and the intolerance of certain foods or their components. The symptoms of both can be similar. Clear immunological evidence can be found for food allergies. Intolerance to food (components), however, is caused by the metabolism.
The symptoms of a food allergy can be complex. Allergic reactions often take place on the skin or the mucous membranes. Possible skin reactions can include extensive redness (exanthema), swelling or wheals, and eczema. In other cases, or in addition to skin reactions, gastrointestinal reactions can occur in a food allergy. Unexplained stomach problems or diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting or nausea develop.
Possible allergic symptoms can also include a runny nose, swollen airways or watery eyes. Sneezing attacks or runny nose after eating certain foods can indicate food allergies. In severe cases, it can lead to shortness of breath or asthma attacks. All symptoms that take place in the oral cavity are to be taken seriously. Swelling of the lips, tongue, or palate, with or without itching, can be dangerous.
In the presence of other allergies, the food allergies can represent a cross-reaction. In addition, allergy symptoms to foods can be aggravated by stress, exercise, or alcohol. The greatest danger with food allergies is anaphylactic shock. This can lead to death.
The most severe form of complications can be from a Food allergy occur in the form of a severe allergic reaction or even anaphylactic shock. This is a total circulatory collapse that becomes life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
An example of a food that is able to trigger anaphylactic shock is the peanut. The most common allergy-causing foods include nuts, milk, eggs, cereals, shellfish, fish and soy. But stone fruit, celery and buckwheat also cause allergic reactions in some people.
In the case of food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, on the other hand, the immune system remains uninvolved. In the case of lactose intolerance, the intolerance reaction is triggered by the missing digestive enzyme lactase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the milk sugar. If it is missing, the lactose reaches the deeper intestinal sections undigested and causes flatulence and diarrhea there.
As a rule, a food allergy always leads to very unpleasant complaints. The quality of life of the patients is reduced by this allergy and there are various restrictions in the patient's everyday life. Those affected primarily suffer from abdominal pain or stomach pain. It can also lead to vomiting or diarrhea.
It is not uncommon for a food allergy to lead to an itchy rash on the skin. As long as the person concerned does not use any critical ingredient, the symptoms usually do not arise and there are no particular complications. In this way, the food allergy can be restricted relatively well and easily.
Furthermore, the food allergy can also lead to loss of appetite and thus to weight loss or to various deficiency symptoms. Direct treatment of the food allergy is usually not possible. The symptoms are limited and reduced by a strict diet.
A completely positive course of the disease usually only results if the patient renounces the triggering substance. In most cases, the life expectancy of the patient is not influenced or reduced by the food allergy.
Food allergy is a relatively common phenomenon, but it is not always a reason to see a doctor. Symptoms that appear for the first time should be examined by a doctor and the food allergy diagnosed. Afterwards, however, going to the doctor is only important in certain cases.
These include allergies whose symptoms are so pronounced that they can be life-threatening. An example of this are patients in whom an allergy to nuts or fruits leads to a local reaction in the oropharynx. This can cause swelling, which makes it difficult for those affected to breathe. Anaphylactic shock as a serious complication is also possible, so that these patients require consistent medical treatment due to the intensity of their allergies.
Allergy sufferers whose digestive tract is severely affected should also speak to a doctor. This can be the case, for example, if cow's milk protein or gluten from wheat is not tolerated. As a rule, these are not life-threatening phenomena. However, if the restrictions on quality of life due to weight loss, pain or flatulence become too great and persist, it makes sense to see a doctor.
One is diagnosed Food allergy via a skin test or an oral provocation test. In a skin test, the allegedly allergenic substance is introduced into the skin. If there is an allergy, reddening, itching and swelling occurs in the relevant area. However, the informative value of this test is not one hundred percent reliable.
In the oral provocation test, the patient has to swallow a capsule that contains either the allergenic substance or a placebo. Subjective misjudgments are avoided via the placebo control. However, the allergy-causing food must be known for this test. Usually this is not the case. A food elimination process helps identify the appropriate food. Eligible foods are removed from the menu for about two weeks. If there are new intolerance reactions when the food is reintroduced, this is a sure indication of the presence of an allergy.
However, once the diagnosis has been made, there are no treatment or healing options. Only avoiding the food in question protects against a new intolerance reaction. It is important to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients despite not eating the food in question. In the case of a cow's milk allergy, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient calcium, vitamin D and protein intake through alternative foods.
The prognosis for a food allergy is poor. In most cases, an allergic reaction lasts for life. However, there are numerous different therapeutic approaches and alternative methods that can lead to significant relief and even freedom from symptoms. Depending on the individual allergic reactions and triggers of the allergy, avoiding the corresponding stimulus can already lead to permanent relief of the symptoms. Therefore, some people affected can make a significant contribution to their recovery even without medical treatment.
Most patients, however, experience changes in the irritant substances over their lifespan. Often times, the number of foods that cause physical discomfort increases. Therefore, in addition to a regular check-up visit, adequate information about cross allergies and immediate measures should also take place. In severe cases, a food allergy can be fatal. The more often there are complaints, the more difficult it is to organize life. The psychological resilience increases and secondary diseases threaten.
The circumstances described must be taken into account when making an overall forecast. It is advisable to work closely with the doctor so that medical treatment can be initiated at any time if complaints and irregularities increase. In some patients, lifelong therapy is necessary to prevent acute situations from developing.
It is known from small children that the food allergy usually only exists until they are seven years old and then subsides on its own. Follow-up care after recovery is unnecessary because experience has shown that no further complaints are to be expected. It is different in the years before starting school. Follow-up care aims to avoid complications. The parents are primarily responsible for this.
Because you have to consider a few things when choosing food. Above all, allergy triggers are to be avoided. Parents should always carry an emergency kit with them against acute attacks. The attending physician informs the legal guardian as part of the initial diagnosis. Sometimes it can be useful to take part in a nutritional consultation.
The implementation of the food advice is then the responsibility of the mother or father. Adults can also suffer from a food allergy. For them, however, lifelong follow-up care is usually necessary as the intolerance reaction no longer disappears.
The same requirements apply to them as to children. However, they are responsible for avoiding the trigger themselves. Scheduled examinations are usually only usual if the state of health deteriorates. A skin test and a blood test then clarify a change in the reaction.
The most important thing in everyday life for allergy sufferers is to avoid the corresponding foods and their traces. Depending on the food in question, this turns out to be differently difficult. A general grain intolerance is more far-reaching than a celery allergy. It is important for those affected to find a diet that is sufficiently balanced, tasty and fulfilling.
Avoiding large food groups makes this difficult, but with a little research and the will to try new culinary delights, a good diet can be found for everyone. Eating habits from completely different countries, which are often characterized by a completely different diet, can be used as clues.
Food allergy sufferers should also always have an emergency kit with them, as it can never be ruled out that they will come into contact with an allergen. To maintain personal well-being, it does not make sense to forego all major events, etc., because there could be a source of allergens somewhere.
In a private setting, those affected by a food allergy can adequately educate their environment so that consideration is given at eventual events. For people who generally consider allergies to be imaginary or who try to put them into perspective by referring to small amounts, it may be sufficient to show them the emergency kit.