Food allergies are a frequent problem since small age. They are negative reaction of the immune system against a food protein. It is accepted as an allergen from the organism, which starts forming antibody – immunoglobulin E. This reaction leads to releasing big amounts of histamine, which actually causes the symptoms of food allergy:
- Itching, burning and reddening of the mouth, eyes and skin, tickle feeling and unstoppable sneezing.
- Angioedema – swollen face, eyelids, tongue, lips, nose, trachea, which can lead to strangulation, asthma and hard breathing.
- Nausea, throwing up, diarrhea, stomach acids, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems
- Anaphylactic shock – sharp allergic reaction, which damages the whole body and could lead to death.
- Hypotony or hypertony
Food allergy usually appears until 3 years old and very rarely after. They can calm with age, to disappear and show up again.
The possibility of developing a food allergy depends on the hereditary factor, illnesses like asthma, troubles in digestive system, weak enzyme activity and many other factors. The risk of development of a food allergy can vastly be reduced by breastfeeding the baby, because mother’s milk has immunoglobulin, which the baby can’t produce enough until the 6th month. Kids prone to allergic reactions should be fed with hard food later than usual, so that it could slow down its feeding with allergizing foods.
The food allergy shouldn’t be confused with food intolerance (the impossibility of the organism to process some sorts of food because of enzymes lack) and the food poisoning. Food allergies are common health problem, which may sound harmless, but shouldn’t be neglected, because there have been even cases of death by food allergy. It can occur from a few seconds to an hour after the consumption of a food allergen.