What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is when the body mistakenly reacts to a certain food or ingredient as if it were harmful. The food that causes the reaction is called an allergen.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy reaction?
Symptoms can happen within a few minutes or up to a few hours of the allergen being eaten and can be seen or felt in different parts of the body.
- Skin rash or eczema, welts or hives
- Swelling of the tongue or throat and difficulty breathing
- Itching in the mouth and throat, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting
- Drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a serious reaction that happens quickly. Anaphylaxis can involve many different parts of the body. The most severe symptoms can restrict breathing and blood circulation and may cause death.
What are the most common foods that cause allergic reactions?
The most common foods include:
- walnuts, almonds, cashews,pistachios, and pecans)
- wheat/ gluten
- crustacean shellfish (for example shrimp, lobster, and crab)
How are food allergies diagnosed?
A doctor or allergist can diagnose food allergies by using a variety of tests. You can also try Vega Expert testing which allows a natural therapist or nutritionist to test a range of foods and environmental allergens; and then undertake a food avoid and challenge test under their supervision. This is something all our practitioners are trained in at Perfectly Natural. It is a great alternative for children with unknown allergies.
How are allergic reactions treated?
Antihistamines and other medicines can be used. In severe cases, the medicine epinephrine should be given as soon as possible. Always call 000!
How can an allergic reaction be avoided?
The best way to avoid a reaction is to avoid the food that causes the allergy. Develop a system for checking ingredient labels carefully and have a plan to limit the ways in which the child could have contact with
allergens, including airborne. It is important children understand not to share food and to ask before they eat food is away from their care giver.
What is cross-contact?
Cross-contact happens when a food containing an allergen comes in contact with a food or surface that does not contain an allergen. Cross-contact is also called cross-contamination. Many people are so sensitive that cross contamination can be as severe and ingesting the actual allergen. The same treatment still applies to their reactions.