How to Identify Food Allergens
Symptoms of food allergies typically appear from within a few minutes to two hours after a person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic. Let us discuss- Food Allergies Signs, Symptoms and Causes.
Allergic reactions can include:
- Flushed skin or rash
- Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
- Face, tongue, or lip swelling
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Coughing or wheezing
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
- Swelling of the throat and vocal cords
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
People with food allergies can also experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis after eating a food allergen(s).
Anaphylaxis can lead to:
- Constricted airways in the lungs
- Severe lowering of blood pressure and shock (“anaphylactic shock”)
- Suffocation by swelling of the throat
Each year in Nigeria., it is estimated that anaphylaxis to food results in:
- 50,000 emergency room visits
- 4,000 hospitalizations
- 250 deaths
Prompt administration of epinephrine by auto-injector during early symptoms of anaphylaxis may help prevent these serious consequences.
What to do if symptoms occur?
Severe food allergies can be life-threatening. If you or someone you care for has symptoms of food allergies, avoid these foods and consult your health care provider for appropriate testing and evaluation.
- Read food labels and avoid the foods or ingredients that have caused symptoms.
- Recognize the early symptoms of an allergic reaction, especially in the event of accidental ingestion, and be properly educated on — and armed with — appropriate treatment measures, such as an auto-injector.
- Initiate treatment immediately if you have a known food allergy and experience symptoms while or after eating a food. Go to a nearby emergency room if symptoms progress.
What are major food allergens.
More than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the FDA identifies the eight most common allergenic foods. These foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions, and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived (such as whey from milk).
The eight foods identified by the FDA are:
- Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
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