Appropriate Recognition, Diagnosis, & Treatment Plans for Food Allergy Sufferers

It might come as something of a shock to many people to discover that there are millions of people in Europe and around the world that suffer from some sort of food allergy. It is often prevalent in children, but this problem can manifest itself at any age. Certain foods causes the body's immune system to react and trigger an allergic response, which is the body's way of informing the individual that there is something in a particular type of food or food preparation that may be dangerous.


 Varying Allergic Reactions

Diagnosing food allergies in adults and children is difficult, as the immunologist or clinician will have to go through food diaries kept by the patient to narrow down the likely culprits. There have been case reports that food allergies is hereditary, but that it requires proper testing to come to that conclusion. Reactions of food allergies in patients can vary from mild to severe, and treatment needs to start immediately before it becomes a full-blown attack which could shut down parts of the body's response system. This has been the case in patients suffering from peanut or shellfish allergies. This kind of severe allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis, which sometimes affects multiple organs in the body, leading to shortness of breath, high or low blood pressure, and increased heartbeat.

Common Food Triggers

The EAACI or The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has got plenty of research papers and findings on the most common triggers of food allergies in adults and children. The most common food triggers include peanuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, wheat, and soy; there have also been cases of children and adults becoming allergic to chocolate, cocoa, and other products. Some of these allergies which occur in children have sometimes disappeared when they become adults. EAACI have data showing that food allergy reactions may be triggered in the respiratory tract, skin, cardiovascular system, and sometimes in the GI system. They are usually manifested as shortness of breath, hives and/or rashes, vomiting, cough, tongue swelling, and shock to name a few.

Anaphylactic Reactions

Research has shown that food allergies can cause different reactions in people after consuming the same trigger food and symptoms may also vary from individual to individual. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to predict or gauge the severity of allergic reactions, which is why it is vitally important that food allergy sufferers are told what to expect and how to react when there is a chance they might be victims to food allergies. The main concern is that of anaphylaxis, where there is a good chance the patient could suffer multiple organ failure resulting in death, unless they are immediately treated appropriately.

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