A food allergy is an immune response when the body incorrectly identifies a certain food as a threat. The immune system creates a range of symptoms throughout the body. Some people have anaphylactic reactions, which are life-threatening emergencies.
Nearly any food can cause an allergy, but the most common food allergens are:
some fruits and vegetables
This is the most common type of food allergy. It occurs when the immune system produces the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). Symptoms happen within a few minutes after eating the allergen. Anaphylaxis is more common with this type of reaction.
Symptoms of IgE-mediated food allergy can include:
Swelling, especially of the face, mouth or throat
Itching or tingling inside the mouth
Nausea or vomiting
Wheezing or shortness of breath
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. This is an emergency that can happen suddenly and worsen rapidly. If you see someone in anaphylaxis, give epinephrine if trained to do so, and call an ambulance immediately.
In addition to the symptoms above, a person in anaphylaxis may have:
Difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking
Dizziness or feeling faint
In this type of allergy, immunoglobulin E is not involved. Instead, other immune cells cause the reaction. After eating, it can take several hours or even days for the reaction to develop.
Symptoms of a non-IgE-mediated food allergy include:
Red, itchy skin (but not raised hives)
Colic in babies
In a mixed reaction, a person experiences symptoms from both immunoglobulin E (IgE) and other immune cells.
On Halloween and beyond, you can help kids and adults with allergies stay safe. Be informed about common allergens and the signs of an allergic reaction. Do something for yourself by getting tested for food allergies or sensitivities.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple way to make Halloween fun for everyone, including kids with food allergies. Put a teal pumpkin outside your home to show that you’re offering safe, non-food treats. You can still offer candy in a separate bowl, too!
Examples of non-food treats include stickers, glow sticks, small toys, bouncy balls, and spooky trinkets. You can buy a teal pumpkin from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) or make your own.
You deserve the chance to be safe from allergies and uncomfortable food sensitivities. Get ready for a healthier life! Make your appointment at a WellNow Allergy now for expert diagnostics and advice on managing your allergies.