A food allergy occurs when the immune system of your body fights against infections and sees food in the form of an invader. This might be the reason for an allergic reaction.
If the past reactions had been mild, someone who is suffering from a food allergy is at greater risk for the next reaction which can be life-threatening.
Anyone who has a food allergy should avoid food problems and carry injectable epinephrine during an emergency. Use search strings like, “private allergy testing near me” when you need to conduct the test for your child.
Common food allergens
A child can be allergic to some food and common allergens lead to 90% of reactions among kids:
• Shellfish (such as shrimp)
• Tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
Signs and symptoms of food allergy
An allergic reaction is a response to your immune system where the chemicals like histamine are produced inside your body. An allergic reaction may either be mild or severe and anyone can have an extreme reaction to food when the past reactions had been mild.
Symptoms that occur from an allergic reaction are:
• trouble breathing
• red spots
• throat tightness
• belly pain
• itchy, swollen, or watery eyes
• loss of consciousness, drop in pressure, or lightheadedness
Sometimes, an allergy might lead to a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. This can begin with some similar symptoms like a less severe reaction though it may be worse in due course. The person can have difficulty breathing or pass out. When there is the involvement of more than one body part and it is not possible to treat it through injectable epinephrine, anaphylaxis might be risky for life.
About food intolerance
People might confuse food allergies with food intolerance. Symptoms of food intolerance consist of indigestion, headaches, loose stools, burping, gas, or feeling of getting flushed. But food intolerance:
• will not involve your immune system
• might be unsafe but hardly risky
• can happen as a person cannot digest a substance like lactose
How to diagnose food allergy
- If your kid suffers from a food allergy, the doctor might enquire about:
- the symptoms of your child
- the time it will require for eating a specific food and the beginning of symptoms
- whether any family members suffer from allergies or conditions such as asthma and eczema
- The doctor will refer you to a skin specialist who might ask further questions and conduct a physical examination. He will possibly order certain tests for making a diagnosis which include:
- Skin test – This involves placing the liquid extracts of food allergens on the back or forearm of your arm. It also means skin pricking and waiting to see whether the red color has led to some spots. The positive test for any food denotes your kid might be sensitive to that particular food.
- Blood tests – It will help to check the blood for IgE antibodies for certain foods.
Your kid will have to stop taking certain medicines like over-the-counter antihistamines for 5 to 7 days before the skin test.
- This is because it can affect the test results. Make sure you check with the allergist when you do not know about the medications to spot and for the amount of time period.
In case the test results are not clear, the allergist might perform a food challenge:
During the test, a person will be getting increasing amounts of probable food allergens slowly to eat while being watched by the doctor for the symptoms. You need to conduct the test at the allergist’s office or in the hospital. There should be proper access to medical care and medicines immediately as a life-threatening reaction might take place.
Food challenge tests can help to know whether people have outgrown any kind of allergy.
How to treat food allergies
A child who suffers from food allergy needs to have two epinephrine auto-injectors always nearby for a severe reaction. An epinephrine auto-injector is a prescription medicine available in easy-to-carry and small containers.
Make sure you have two auto-injectors nearby if one does not work or your kid requires a second dose.
The doctor will provide an allergy action plan that enables us to prepare for, treat and recognize an allergic reaction. So, wherever your child is, the caregivers will know where epinephrine is and have easy access and know-how to give the shot. You should also see that your child wears a medical alert bracelet.
How parents can keep children safe
If your child suffers from a food allergy, then make sure you read through the food labels carefully so that you can avoid the allergen. The manufacturing processes and different ingredients might change and so, you need to check the labels every time even for the foods your child has enjoyed in the past.
Common allergens have the label clearly though the less common allergens should be hidden in the ingredients such as spices or natural flavors.
Thus, when your kid eats away from home, make sure anyone who prepares food knows about the allergy and the foods to avoid. You may want to give food that will be safe for your child. So, find a clinic in Harley Street to do allergy testing near me for your kid.