Food Allergies

Food allergy is an exaggerated immune response triggered by eggs, peanuts, milk, or some other specific food.

 

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

 

Normally, your body’s immune system defends against potentially harmful substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. In some people, an immune response is triggered by a substance that is generally harmless, such as a specific food.

 

The cause of food allergies is related to your body making a type of allergy-producing substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to a particular food.

 

Although many people have a food intolerance, food allergies are less common. In a true food allergy, the immune system produces antibodies and histamine in response to the specific food.

 

Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but a few foods are the main culprits. In children, the most common food allergies are to:

 

Eggs

Milk

Peanuts

Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)

Soy

Tree nuts

Wheat

 

A food allergy frequently starts in childhood, but it can begin at any age. Fortunately, many children will outgrow their allergy to milk, egg, wheat, and soy by the time they are 5 years old if they avoid the offending foods when they are young. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish tend to be lifelong.

 

In older children and adults, the most common food allergies are:

 

Fish

Peanuts

Shellfish

Tree nuts

 

Food additives – such as dyes, thickeners, and preservatives – may rarely cause an allergic or intolerance reaction.

 

An allergy syndrome that affects the mouth and tongue may occur after eating certain fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods contain substances similar to certain pollens. For example, melon contains substances similar to ragweed pollen, and apples have allergens similar to tree pollen.

 

Many Indians believe they have food allergies, while in reality fewer than 1% have true allergies. Most symptoms are caused by intolerances to foods such as:

 

Corn products

Cow’s milk and dairy products

Wheat and other gluten-containing grains

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms usually begin immediately, within 2 hours after eating. Rarely, the symptoms may begin hours after eating the offending food.

 

If you develop symptoms shortly after eating a specific food, you may have a food allergy. Key symptoms include hives, hoarse voice, and wheezing.

 

Other symptoms that may occur include:

 

Abdominal pain

Diarrhea

Difficulty swallowing

Itching of the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, or any area

Lightheadedness or fainting

Nasal congestion

Nausea

Runny nose

Patches of itchy, scaly skin (atopic dermatitis); skin may peel or blister

Swelling (angioedema), especially of the eyelids, face, lips, and tongue

Shortness of breath

Stomach cramps

Vomiting

 

Symptoms of mouth (oral) allergy syndrome:

 

Itchy lips, tongue, and throat

Swollen lips (sometimes)

 

Signs and tests

 

In severe reactions, you may have low blood pressure and blocked airways.

 

Blood or skin tests are sometimes used to confirm that you have an allergy. However, there is no well-accepted criteria for diagnosing food allergies.

 

With elimination diets, you avoid the suspected food until your symptoms disappear. Then the foods are reintroduced to see if you develop an allergic reaction.

 

In provocation (challenge) testing, you eat a small amount of the suspected food allergen under medical supervision. This type of test may provoke severe allergic reactions. Challenge testing should only be done by a doctor.

 

Never try to deliberately cause a reaction or reintroduce a food on your own. These tests should only be performed under the guidance of a health care provider – especially if your first reaction was severe.

 

 

Homoeopathy Treatment

 

Anyone diagnosed with a food allergy should carry (and know how to use) injectable epinephrine at all times. If you develop any type of serious or whole-body reaction (even hives) after eating the offending food, inject the epinephrine. Then go to the nearest hospital or emergency facility, preferably by ambulance. Seek immediate medical attention after injecting epinephrine for a food reaction. Homeopathy pictures food allergies as an expression of an interruption in the patient’s immune system. Under stress, the immune system will cause certain symptoms, such as food allergy. These symptoms are not a disease to be cured in themselves, but a reflection of an underlying, deeper malfunction. Homeopathic remedies treat the entire person with deep acting constitutional approach which will help desensitize, reinforce the immune system and also prevent the recurrence of the problem. Homeopathy maintains all the tissues and organs as well as the emotions and intellectual functioning at optimum level. Homeopathy seeks to naturally stimulate the body’s natural defenses against food allergy symptoms and situates the body in a position to react less and less to allergens. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances and include specific allergens to gently, safely expose the individual to their specific weak areas. This allows the natural defenses to properly adapt to the allergen and no longer react to it adversely.