A A A |
Close window

Email address and password did not match

Forgotton your password? Click here.

| follow us on twitterfollow us on facebook

Understanding food allergies

Created by Charlotte in Age: At School, Age: Baby & Toddler, Age: On the way, Age: Pre-school, Health and Safety



A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to specific foods.

 

Allergic reactions are often mild, but they can sometimes be very serious.

 

In children, common food allergies include being allergic to milk and eggs. In adults, allergies to fruits and vegetables are more common. Nut allergies, such as being allergic to peanut, are relatively common in both children and adults.

 

Symptoms of a food allergy can affect different areas of the body at the same time. Some common symptoms include:

 

  • an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat or ears
  • raised itchy red skin rash (this is known as urticaria, hives or “nettle rash”)
  • swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue and the roof of the mouth (this is known as angioedema)

 

Anaphylaxis

In the most serious cases, a person has a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life-threatening. If you suspect that somebody is experiencing the symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as breathing difficulties and swollen lips, immediately call 999 for an ambulance and tell the operator that you think the person has anaphylaxis.

 

Who is affected

Most food allergies affect younger children aged under the age of three. It is estimated that around one child in every 14 children of this age has one or more food allergies. Most children will “outgrow” food allergies to milk, eggs, soya and wheat by the time they start school. Peanut allergies are usually more persistent. An estimated four out of five children with peanut allergies remain allergic to peanuts for the rest of their life. Food allergies that develop during adulthood, or persist into adulthood, are likely to be lifelong allergies.

 

For reasons that are unclear, rates of food allergies have risen sharply in the last 20 years. However, deaths from anaphylaxis-related food reactions are now very rare. There were only two reported deaths related to food allergies in England and Wales during 2010.

 

What causes food allergies?

Food allergies are caused when the immune system (the body’s defence against infection) mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat to the body, when in fact they should be harmless. It then releases a number of chemicals to prevent what it sees as an infection taking hold. It is these chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Any food could cause an allergic reaction, but there are certain foods that are responsible for most food allergies.

 

In children, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:

food allergies

 

  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts
  • fish
  • shellfish

 

The majority of children with a food allergy have a background of eczema (an allergic skin condition) during infancy. The worse their eczema is and the earlier it started, the more likely they are to have a food allergy.

 

It is still uncertain why people develop allergies to food, although often people with a food allergy have other allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever and eczema.

 

Types of food allergies

The most common type of food allergy is triggered by an antibody called immunoglobulin E. This is known as IgE-mediated food allergy and tends to cause rapid symptoms, often within seconds or minutes of exposure to certain foods. There is a greater risk of anaphylaxis with this type of allergy.

 

Allergic reactions not caused by immunoglobulin E (non IgE mediated food allergy) tend to cause symptoms hours or even days after exposure to certain foods. This type of allergy is often difficult to diagnose.

 

Treatment

There is no treatment to cure a food allergy. The best way of preventing an allergic reaction is to identify the type of food that causes the allergy and then avoid it in future. However, avoid making any radical changes to your grandchild’s diet, such as cutting dairy products, without first consulting with your GP. A type of medication called an antihistamine can help relieve the symptoms of a mild to moderate allergic reaction. A type of medication called adrenaline is an effective treatment for anaphylaxis. People with a food allergy are often given a device, known as an auto-injector pen, which contains dosages of adrenaline that can be used in case of emergencies.

 

When to seek medical advice

If you suspect your grandchild may have a food allergy, it’s very important to ask for a professional diagnosis from their GP, who can refer you to an allergy clinic.  Many parents mistakenly assume their child has a food allergy when in fact their symptoms are due to a completely different condition. There are commercial allergy-testing kits available but their use is not recommended. Many kits are based on unsound scientific principles and even if they are reliable, it is best to have the results interpreted by a health professional.

 

Additional information:


  • The Food Standards Agency have put together a booklet on buying food when you have a food allergy or food intolerance.  If you think this would be useful then click here to view it.

 

 

 

from NHS Choices

 

Print Friendly


Print This Post Print This Post

LATEST ADVICE
jane-jacksonbw

We need to self protect

Since I set up the support group for grandparents who are denied contact with their [...]


ask-jackie

Ask Jackie: denied access but wanting to open bank account

Q: Hi, I have a son who is denied access to his children as are [...]


ask-jackie

Ask Jackie: special guardianship allowance

Q: Hi Jackie, viagra 40mg  I’m not a grandmother but an aunt who has taken [...]


twins

Are you expecting twins?

We all know how exciting it is when we find out we are going to [...]


Kraamartsq

Kraamzorg UK to offer lifeline for new mums and dads

Granny to the rescue! Are you worried about how your expectant daughter or daughter-in-law will [...]


JenniferTbw

A little something for September…

Every so often something goes on the forum that we all think should be shared [...]


food-guide-rome-1

Food destination guides inspire us to stay off the chips!

There are certain times in our lives when we want to stick with what we [...]


Holiday150

Have you booked your travel insurance yet?

Why book travel insurance?   Holidays are what many of us look forward to throughout [...]


Austrian Alps150

Summer hiking in the alps

Famed across the world for its supreme skiing, medicine the Alps stretch across thousands of [...]


asthma

What to Do If a Child Has an Asthma Attack at School

If getting a call from the school nurse can be unnerving, clinic hearing that your [...]


genkeane

Top tips on taking care of your grandchildren’s teeth

I am so saddened to see the latest figures for children’s dental decay; three in [...]


cerebra

Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety: A Parent’s Guide

A new guide to help parents of children with learning disabilities and autism [...]


appleandpeartart

Rustic pear and Bramley apple tart

Weather conditions this year have been ideal for the apple harvest and right now is [...]


Patrick Drake150

Moroccan spiced lamb with sweet vegetable stew

Patrick Drake, co-founder and Head Chef of HelloFresh.co.uk commented, “We’ve been hearing all sorts of [...]


pizzas150

Fussy eaters

What’s the fuss? Anyone with children will know that when it comes to eating, for [...]


Vaseline

VASELINE HEALTHY HANDS

I found this to be a great all day cream, it was easily absorbed and didn’t leave a sticky residue. [...]


AvonAnew

AVON ANEW HAND CREAM

Very thick and luxurious with a pleasant fragrance. Felt more like a special treatment than [...]


Little bird jeans

LITTLE BIRD JEANS

I received several items from this range to review; a Fairisle cardigan, denim jeans, a long sleeve [...]


Poplico

Poplico Pram Gloves £21.00

fanny-quiz2

A weekly fun & educational quiz to enjoy with your little ones

Copyright © 2012 Grannynet.co.uk Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Website Design and SEO by Brightenearly Ltd



To do ordering and buying anti allergy pills online is very comfortable nowadays.