The immune system is essential for protecting the body from infection and overall health. In the case of food and drink, food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to certain food substances that pose no danger to most people. While these reactions are often mild, they can be serious and even dangerous.
Most food allergies start during childhood, and in some cases they can go away over time. However, food allergies can also be life-threatening, requiring absolute avoidance if left untreated. Understanding the common food allergies and their implications is the first step for Atlanta residents to stay safe.
Common Types of Food Allergy
Peanut allergies are common among adults and children. It is important to check food labels, as products like bread, cookies, cereal and more may contain peanut traces. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, stomach cramps and swelling of the mouth, with the risk of anaphylaxis.
Tree Nut Allergy
Tree nut varieties include hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios and walnuts. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to tree nuts are similar to those of a peanut allergy, with the threat of anaphylaxis making it important to avoid tree nut consumption if you are a sufferer.
Milk allergies are common, particularly among children. The inclusion of milk in a variety of products means it is important to be diligent when looking at food labels. Along with digestive problems, it is common to see swelling or a rash on the face from a reaction.
A shellfish allergy is brought on by the proteins found in animals like lobster, shrimp, crab, squid and scallops. You could be allergic to a single type of shellfish or a range of them. Swelling, breathing issues, gut problems and dizziness are common effects of a shellfish allergy.
Wheat Gluten Allergy
A wheat gluten allergy stems from the high gluten content in wheat. Grains like barley and rye also contain gluten and may be a cause of symptoms as well. Stomach pains, bloating and constipation are common symptoms of an allergy to wheat. Breathing issues and anaphylaxis are, however, found in more severe cases.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
Certain fruits and vegetables can bring on oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Proteins in these items are similar to pollen, and can lead to an overreaction from your immune system. Typically, the reaction will involve swelling and tingling around the mouth and lips.
Treatment for Food Allergies Starts With Diagnosing
While a food allergy cannot be cured, you can manage and control the condition. Your doctor can conduct an allergy test to determine the source of your allergies. Avoiding the foods is an important first step, plus you may consider oral immunotherapy treatment to desensitize your body to the allergens in the food.
Atlanta Allergy Can Help Treat Your Food Allergies
Food allergies are incredibly common, and today effective treatments are available. From our clinics in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek, the Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center provides cutting-edge solutions for a range of allergies. Contact us for an appointment at 678-668-4688.