Food allergy is common. Most appear during childhood, but some appear later in life. Very often, it is impossible for us to find out what food we are allergic to because food allergic reaction usually appears hours after consuming a particular food.
What is Food allergy?
Food allergy is an adverse reaction that occurs after eating a certain food. It is driven by our own body’s immune system. In other words, your immune system does not like the food you consume, therefore produces antibodies against the food, known as immunoglobulin E (IgE).
What are the symptoms of Food allergy?
Common food allergy symptoms include:
- Rashes, hives, itching of the skin
- Itching or tingling sensation in the mouth
- Swelling of the face, lips, around the eyes, tongue, throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain and diarrhoea
- Wheezing and nasal congestion
- Difficulty in breathing
Sometimes, food allergy can trigger a severe life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms and signs include:
- Swollen tongue and throat
- Tightening of airway
- Difficulty in breathing
- Severe wheezing
- Drop in blood pressure
- Rise in pulse rate
- Severe dizziness
- Loss of consciousness
What are common food allergies?
Food allergies are usually triggered by certain proteins present in the food. Common food allergies in adults and children are:
- Nuts such as peanuts and tree nuts
- Shellfish such as crab and shrimp
How do we know?
A lot of us are unable to determine the exact food we are allergic to because we often do not remember what we eat for lunch! Fortunately, we do not have to squeeze our brain trying to recall the details. There are simple tests we can do to pinpoint the exact content of the food our immune system dislikes.
As mentioned earlier, our immune system produces an antibody called IgE against certain food we consume. Therefore, if we can detect these specific IgE antibodies.
This is simply known as food allergy test. Only a blood sample is needed to carry out this test. The results are useful for you and the doctors to manage the allergies appropriately.
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It is important to get tested for food allergies so that we can avoid consuming the particular food we are allergic to. Although there is no cure for food allergy, we can prevent it from happening. This can potentially save lives!
If you wish to know more, please call us or visit our clinics to speak to our doctors.
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