Food allergies are often characterized by severe and life-threatening responses from the body and are rapidly becoming a food safety and public health concern. It is estimated that food allergies have a 10.8% prevalence rate among adults in the US, with 19.0% believing they have a food allergy. Further studies suggest that 1 in 13 children have allergic reactions to a particular food, making it a worrying threat. Unfortunately, there is no medical or scientifically established remedy for food sensitivities.
So far, strict abstinence from the food allergen is the best way to avoid any reaction. Food allergies are often mistaken for food intolerance; however, the latter is not life-threatening. With almost 32 million people in the US reporting allergic responses like vomiting, rashes, hives, shortness of breath this guide may help you know some of the most common causes.
1. Cow Milk
Kids and little children are the most likely to be sensitive to cow’s milk, mainly when they have been offered the protein before reaching half a year old. This is one of the most well-known allergies in children, reportedly affecting 2-3% of infants and babies. Despite this, about 90% of children will grow out of the condition when they are three, making it considerably less common in grown-ups. After being diagnosed with allergies to milk, the best treatment is to avoid cow milk and other products like milk, yogurt, margarine, cheese, and butter, which all have milk content.
Even though about 68% of children will outgrow allergies to eggs before turning 16, it is the second most common food allergy in the US. Strikingly, it is possible to be sensitive to egg whites and not the yolk, and vice versa. However, many of the proteins that trigger a reaction are found in egg whites, making it more familiar. Like different allergies, an egg-free diet is the best treatment for egg allergies. However, you might not need to avoid food with egg content entirely, as warming eggs can change the state of the hypersensitivity causing proteins. This can prevent your body from considering them to be destructive, which means they are less likely to provoke a response.
Gluten is the primary protein form that the immune system attacks when you are allergic to wheat. Despite its extreme prevalence, it is usually confused with celiac disease. This disease is a condition that basically stops the body from absorbing suitable nutrients and further leads to an adverse response to gluten. The presence of wheat in foods like pasta, bread, crackers, and beer makes it very difficult to avoid. Taking aspirin after a wheat diet or exercising can trigger severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Others like bakers and individuals working with wheat flour may experience breathing issues from inhaling wheat allergen but not when they consume wheat products.
4. Tree Nuts
Being allergic to tree nuts like cashew, almonds, pecans, and macadamias makes you more sensitive to a few of them. A study by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) indicates that 1% of the US population is affected by tree nuts allergy, an allergic reaction from taking seeds and nuts that come from trees. Such individuals are advised to abstain from food products made from tree nuts even when sensitive to just one or two types. Being allergic to one tree nut makes you more likely to develop allergies to other tree nuts types. Moreover, it is easier to keep away from all nuts than focusing on one or two classes. Tree nuts allergies are generally lifelong conditions as compared to other allergies.