The importance of understanding food allergens in Elgin
Food Allergies are becoming more common in children, which has resulted in an increase of allergies in adolescents and adults. Most of these allergies are diagnosed during childhood and they remain through adulthood. Today, millions of Americans are learning to cope and live everyday life with food allergies.
It is important first to understand that there is a distinction between food intolerance and food allergies. Food intolerances are more common than food allergies, but actual allergies are much more serious.
Food allergies are an abnormal immune system response to a specific food. Food allergies generally develop after your body has been in contact with the allergen, which is why some people with a peanut allergy can have consumed them previously without a reaction. Food allergies are often more prevalent in families that have history of other common allergies such as hay fever, or asthma.
On the other hand, food intolerances do not involve the immune system. They are a chemical reaction to the substance. Common intolerances include gluten, fructose, lactose, and corn. In many, intolerances are often outgrown.
Common symptoms of food allergies can range in severity from abdominal cramps and itchy lips to difficulty breathing or even shock. Allergic reactions to food are frequently known to become severe after multiple exposures, which is why they can be a very serious condition for many people.
Some of the most common food allergies include:
Identifying food allergens can be a difficult process. Sometimes it can be obvious, but many times, it is not. The discovery process can take a bit of monitoring and time. Some of the most important things to keep track of are the timing of the reaction, what you ate, how the food was cooked, what spices or condiments were used, and if anyone else had symptoms.
Diagnosis of food allergies is typically not made on just this information. An elimination diet may be suggested to help confirm the allergy. Allergy testing may also be suggested for accurate diagnosis.
If you are in the Elgin area, and suspect that you may be demonstrating symptoms of a food allergy, call us to schedule an appointment. With proper diagnosis and guidelines, we can help you manage your food allergy.