Food allergy is best explained as allergy related to certain food items to which your body reacts.
Now food allergy and food intolerance are two different things while food intolerance gives you an upset stomach and unpleasant symptoms which is the inability of the stomach to digest the food. Food allergy can range from abdominal cramping to hives to anaphylactic shock.
Food allergies are not easily discovered, as the symptoms are very common such as irritable bowel syndrome or seasonal allergies which can easily go unnoticed.
If you think you have a food allergy, the following are some ways to detect it.
You should talk to your doctor, as he or she will evaluate the symptoms and can write down some test which can give you a clear idea about food allergy is present.
Symptoms After Eating
It takes about 30-40 minutes for the food we ingested to process and move further towards intestines. Hence, those 30 minutes are enough for food allergies to show their symptoms on the body.
The symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the food you have consumed.
Common food allergy symptoms include
- Skin rash
- Swelling of lips or face
- Stomach ache
- Heartburn or constipation
- Anaphylactic shock.
Depending on the foodstuffs you have consumed, the reaction will occur.
Common Food Allergies
Food such as peanuts, fish, shellfish, and pine nuts are classic examples of food allergies. A protein named tropomyosin is present in most of these food items.
Tropomyosin is also found in dust, so if you are allergic to dust, you are most likely to get allergic to seafood.
Some people are allergic to casein which is a protein present in all milk products such as cow milk, goat milk and human milk too.
While some people are allergic to additives or preservatives which are present in processed and packaged food.
After noting down the symptoms, doctors will wean you off from some food items to check whether that particular food is causing allergic symptoms or not.
Maintaining a food journal will help the doctor as he can get a firsthand information on what food you have consumed.
Without altering your diet just record whatever you eat and if there are any symptoms to be noted or to be shown to the doctor, it will be easier.
You should not try and eliminate any food items on your own, this might not get any results and the search for the exact food allergy might take longer than required.
After finding out if a certain food item might have caused the food allergy, an Allergist can determine or give out the best result in order to confirm a food allergy.
There are various tests conducted by the Allergist to track down the specific food item. The most common test for food allergy is to undergo a skin test.
In this test, the potential allergen is placed on the skin and the skin is observed for any type of reaction.
For further confirmation, a blood test called RAST tests, are carried out which examines the antibodies your body produces in response to a certain food.