The 3 Most Common Food Allergies
Allergies are most commonly associated with pollen and mold, especially in the spring and fall, but food allergies also present significant problems for children and adults alike. While some common food allergies are mild and only cause a few hives, others are so severe that they can lead to anaphylactic shock.
When a patient with a food allergy eats a food that he is allergic to, his immune system improperly identifies that food as an invader that threatens its wellbeing. The immune system immediately tries to “fight” the alleged invader by causing allergy symptoms. Skin scratch tests and intradermal skin tests can both be used to determine which food is causing allergic reactions in the body, and fortunately an epinephrine pen can be used in emergency situations. So, which three foods allergies are most common?
Peanuts are capable of causing life-threatening allergic reactions, and unfortunately their reactions are unpredictable. This is made trickier by the fact that many unlikely food items include peanuts, including candy, chili, egg rolls, ice cream, vegetarian products, and sauces. The best treatment for a peanut allergy is strict avoidance of all peanut items. An EpiPen should always be close by in case of emergency.
Aside from milk, egg allergy is the most common food allergy in children. The good news, however, is that most children can eventually outgrow their egg allergies! If a child is allergic to eggs but accidentally eats them, symptoms can range from minor hives to anaphylaxis. Avoiding eggs is just as difficult as avoiding peanuts since they are baked into so many different food items like pastas, breads, pretzels, and even specialty coffee drinks! Even vaccines contain egg protein, so those with egg allergies must be careful of every detail.
Crab, lobster, and shrimp are all shellfish. As a result, many people do not realize they are allergic to shellfish until they are adults, since such choices aren’t commonly eaten by children. This allergy is usually a lifelong allergy, and even a minute amount of shellfish can trigger an unpredictable reaction. Avoiding shellfish is a good start, but it’s important to steer clear of all seafood restaurants where cross-contact is highly likely.
In order to safely navigate your own food allergy, you need the professional help of a seasoned expert. Dr, Jaime Kratz has helped many patients suffering from food allergies throughout Trinity and Port Richey, Florida, leading him to be widely regarded as one of the region’s leading doctors specializing in food allergies. Call (727) 300-2560 now to make your appointment.