Many people in Atlanta and beyond experience reactions after eating certain foods. However, a minor intolerance to a food differs greatly from food allergies, with an allergic reaction having potentially severe consequences. In order to combat the threat of a food allergy, it is first important to know the triggers that could cause life-threatening symptoms.
Why Do Foods Trigger an Allergic Reaction?
When you eat a food you are allergic to, your immune system incorrectly believes there is a threat to your health. To counter this perceived threat, antibodies are produced – most typically immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then release chemicals which produce the symptoms of an allergy.
Most people are familiar with the common symptoms of a runny nose or itchy eyes, but a food allergy could potentially trigger a far more extreme reaction, called anaphylaxis. This severe allergic reaction restricts breathing and can send the body into shock, making quick treatment imperative.
What Foods Trigger an Allergic Reaction?
Any food has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction, but eight food groups are responsible for most issues. In fact, it is estimated that around 90% of all food allergies stem from the following foods.
- Milk – A common allergy experienced by young children.
- Eggs – Allergy likely to begin in childhood but may be outgrown.
- Tree nuts – Have the potential to cause severe allergic reactions.
- Peanuts – Another unpredictable allergen affecting children and also adults.
- Shellfish – Shellfish allergies are prevalent in adults.
- Fish – Fish allergies can appear at any age even if you have previously eaten fish.
- Wheat – Less common than other food allergies, but can be severe.
- Soy – Common among young children with the potential to be outgrown.
It won’t always be immediately clear just which food has triggered an allergic reaction. However, a food allergy doctor can discuss your experiences and may recommend allergy testing to identify the exact allergen.
Additional Triggers of Food Allergies
While avoiding these foods can be difficult, the issue is made worse by their inclusion in many other products. Ingredients for many popular products often include milk, eggs, nuts and other foods. Additionally, where multiple items are produced at the same location, traces of foods can appear in products where they are not an official ingredient.
What Can You Do to Treat Food Allergies?
Avoidance should be the first step in preventing a potentially severe allergic reaction. However, for a more long-term solution, oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) could be your best option. OIT is a process for building immune system tolerance to an allergen, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction. Dr. Chacko is one of a limited number of allergists offering this treatment.
Start Treating Your Food Allergies Today
Food allergies are unpredictable and allergic reactions can be severe. Start treating your food allergy with a consultation with Dr. Chacko. We treat food allergies from our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment online.