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Food Allergy And Allergens

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  • Food Allergy And Allergens

A food allergy is an unusual reaction of the immune system to certain foods. Although allergic reactions are not usually serious, in some cases they can be life-threatening. Food allergy symptoms can affect different parts of the body at the same time.

Food Allergy And Allergens

Food allergies happen when the immune system, which defends the body against infections, mistakenly accepts the proteins in food as a threat. As a result, a number of chemicals are released. These chemicals are the cause of allergic reaction symptoms.

Almost all types of foods can cause an allergic reaction. However, there are some specific foods that cause most food allergies.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Food Allergy?

Common symptoms of food allergy are as follows:

Itching in the mouth, throat or inside of the ears,

Itchy red rashes,

Swelling of the face, corners of the eyes, lips, tongue and roof of the mouth (angioedema)


What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. If you see any of the following symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should call the emergency call center:

Trouble breathing,

Difficulty in swallowing and speaking,

Dizziness, fainting, loss of consciousness,

In such cases, call an ambulance and let the staff know that you think the person has had a serious allergic reaction.

How Is Food Allergy Treated?

The most effective way to prevent an allergic reaction in food allergies is to identify the food that triggers the allergic reaction and avoid this food allergy reaction. Although some studies are looking for ways to reduce the sensitivity of certain food allergens, such as peanuts and milk, these have not become successful treatments yet. For some foods, such as milk, a nutritionist should be consulted before making any nutrition changes.

Antihistamines can be helpful in relieving the symptoms of a mild or moderate allergic reaction. Higher doses of antihistamines are usually required to control acute allergic symptoms. Adrenaline is an effective treatment for more serious allergic symptoms such as anaphylaxis.

People with food allergies often use a device known as an auto-injector pen that contains adrenaline in doses that can be used in an emergency.

What is Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance and food allergy are not the same thing. Food intolerance can have symptoms such as bloating and stomach cramps. This may be due to difficulties in digesting certain substances such as lactose. However, allergic reactions do not occur in food intolerance.

What are the Differences Between Food Allergy and Food Intolerance?

Symptoms of food intolerance usually appear a few hours after eating the food. In order to have a food intolerance, you need to consume more of the food that causes the problem than in a food allergy.

Food intolerance, unlike food allergy, is never life-threatening.

Milk Protein Allergy

It is the type of allergy that children have in their first months of life. Cow's milk allergy is the most common type of food allergy in children. Proteins in the milk trigger the allergic reaction.

Egg Allergy

Egg, like cow's milk, is a common food allergen because it is frequently consumed and found in many foods. Allergy to egg white is more common than to yolk. Ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin and conalbumin are the most important allergens in egg white.

Fish and Shellfish Allergy

This group includes many different species. They are very strong allergens and cause difficult reactions. Although they often cause asthma or eczema in children, they are actually responsible for itching and allergies in the digestive system. Allergic reactions, such as an allergy to eggs, can occur a few minutes after the fish is put into the mouth. Symptoms can be observed in hypersensitive individuals, even with the smell of cooked or raw fish, and  even just touching the fish.

Shrimp, crab, crayfish, lobster and other crustaceans can cause allergic and non-allergic reactions. Small amounts are usually sufficient to cause serious reactions. Cross-reactions between different species are common because the main content contained in shellfish is also found in mollusks such as snails, squid and mussels.

Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy is recognized early in life and lasts a lifetime in most individuals. The person may react to one or more types of nuts.

Grain Allergy

Wheat and corn are the more common allergen types when compared to other foods in this group. Both are among the nutrients commonly found in the diets of both children and adults. They are consumed in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. Corn has less allergenic features than wheat so it is more preferred than wheat. It is very difficult not to include wheat in the diet because it has an important place in nutrition. Alpha-amylase trypsin inhibitor, a glycoprotein found in wheat, is the most important type of allergen.

Chocolate Allergy

This allergen is important. It is responsible for allergic runny nose, migraine, skin redness, itching and swelling and digestive system disorders due to excessive consumption by children. Symptoms occur with consumption of chocolate or cocoa.


Honey rarely causes allergies. Reactions usually include itching, redness, swelling of the skin, and gastrointestinal disease. People who are allergic to honey are generally sensitive to buckwheat, alfalfa or pollen. Allergic symptoms are seen, especially if the bees feed on these flowers or plants.


If you think you have any food allergies, here are the things to watch out for:

Keep a diet diary. Write down everything you eat and drink in a notebook with their consumption time.

Write down the symptoms: Write down the situations that you think are allergies in the notebook. Find out what you ate before that symptom. If many different problems occur, choose a few of the most obvious symptoms. Repeat these steps every few weeks.

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