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Avoid Food Allergy And Intolerance

An allergy is a condition where the body’s immune system overreacts when the body comes in contact with a certain substance which triggers off an immune system response. This response is to a perceived threat from the substance known as an allergen. An allergen may come in contact with the body through touch, inhalation, or through the consumption of food and drink that contains the allergen. Some people may come into contact with allergens while receiving blood or fluids in a hospital that may contain some traces of allergens although this is rare. A food allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs due to the presence of a protein in the body that the immune system perceives as dangerous.
This protein could be present in one type of family of foods or just in one particular food item. Symptoms of food allergy range from mild to severe. Mild reactions include digestive distress and mild itching. Moderate symptoms may include skin rashes and inflammations around the body. A major allergic reaction is one where the inflammation is intense and possibly life threatening if the throat lining gets inflamed blocking the passage of air to the lungs.

Apart from medical testing, an allergy may be detected if it correlates completely with the consumption of a particular food item. If a person has an allergic reaction with no clear cause then allergy testing by skin prick or RAST test is conducted. Most packaged foods now come with food allergy information printed on the labels. These usually contain generic information regarding the presence or absence of certain food items, like nuts, which may cause allergies. A complete list of food allergies is hard to compile as there are many different foods that one might come into contact with. The most common types of food allergy are nut allergies and shellfish allergies.

Food allergy treatment depends on the aspect that is being treated. Emergency treatment is required when a reaction occurs.  This could be in the form of some medication that allows the throat lining to remain open. When a person is diagnosed with a food allergy after testing, immune system therapy may be advised as a treatment to reduce the excessively active immune response of the patient. It is important for a patient to carry emergency medication at all times in case of exposure to an allergen as failure to do so may result in serious and even fatal consequences.

Submitted on January 16, 2014