Food Allergies – Causes, Signs, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Food allergies are a common medical condition that affects many people from around the world. The food allergies are normally caused by body’s intolerance to the proteins present in the food. Essentially, the body system will react to a given protein that is toxic. In order to protect itself, the body’s immune system will invade the protein, leading to the allergy.

Causes of Food Allergies

Basically, an allergic reaction is a natural response of the immune system to a foreign body in the system. When you suffer a food allergy, you system mistakenly identifies a given substance or food as something that is harmful to your body.

As the body identifies that threat, it produces antibodies to counteract the effect. This process leads to an ingrained response in the immune system. Whenever you consume even a small portion of the food, the produced antibodies will notice it and alert the immune system.

Consequently, the immune system triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals that are responsible for the allergies you experience. That’s why you experience common allergy responses or signs and symptoms.

Common Food Allergy Signs and Symptoms

While food allergies are distressing for some people, the condition may not be serious. For others, food allergies can lead to terrifying and even life-threatening reactions. For some people, the symptoms of food allergy often develop a few minutes after ingesting the offending food.

For others, the symptoms may develop within two hours after eating the harmful food.

The most common symptoms of food allergy include:

  • Itching or tingling in the mouth,
  • Itching, hives or eczema,
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat and other parts of the body,
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or nausea,
  • Nasal congestion, wheezing or breathing difficulties,
  • Dizziness or faintness

Common Food Allergies

Any food can trigger an allergic reaction, theoretically. Nonetheless, just a few types of food normally cause almost 90 percent of food allergies. The substance that triggers an allergic reaction in drinks or foods is known as an allergen. When it comes to foods, allergens are usually proteins. For most people, such proteins do not cause allergic reactions because their body does not react to them.

Food allergies are caused by the “big eight” allergenic foods, namely eggs, fish, milk, nuts, groundnuts (peanuts), shellfish (including crab, mussels and shrimps), wheat and soya.

Food Allergies in Babies

Infant food allergies

Infant food allergies

Food allergies in babies develop just a few minutes after consuming the food. Allergic reactions are common in infants and young children. At least 8% of children below three years of age are said to suffer from a food allergy.

Your baby is more likely to experience a food allergy if your family has a history of allergies or any other allergic problems, including eczema, hay fever and asthma. The relationship between eczema and food allergies is the most powerful.

Children who have eczema before they reach the age of three months are most likely to experience a food allergy. Basically, the more severe eczema is, and the earlier it starts, the more likely your body is to suffer from a food allergy.

While cases of food allergies have been very high in the past, the numbers are starting to drop. The most common food allergies in infants and young children are eggs, milk, peanuts and nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Allergy Test

There is no benchmark test for food allergies. Your physician will consider several things before performing a diagnosis. Some of the things that can help determine whether you are allergic to a certain food include:

• Description of your signs and symptoms: be ready to tell your physician a history of your signs and symptoms. Know which foods cause you problems and if your family has a history of any kind of allergies.

• Physical examination: a thorough examination can help identify or rule out other medical conditions.

• Food diary: your physician may recommend keeping a diary of your daily eating habits, problems and medicines to identify the problem.

• Skin test: This test can help determine your response to a certain food. Here, a small amount of the particular food is spread on your forearm. Your skin is then pierced or pricked to allow a small amount of the food underneath the skin surface.

If you have a food allergy, you develop a small bump or response. However, a positive reaction to the skin test only may not be enough to identify a food allergy. Other tests may be required to comfort an allergy to the substance.

15 Effective Home Remedies for Food allergies

Most people think that once a food allergy has been confirmed, they are resigned to a life of avoiding that food. Nonetheless, this doesn’t have to be the case. Although you may need to take extreme care when eradicating and reintroducing certain foods before and after treatment, you can decide to naturally get rid of food allergies.

Fortunately, there is a broad array of natural remedies available, and we’ve compiled a list of the most effective ones:

1. Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Cup

Green Tea Cup

We all know that green tea has a number of health benefits. It is widely considered to be a powerful natural remedy for allergies. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements that are essential for keeping your digestive system in a healthy condition and to boost your immune system.

Simply add two teaspoonfuls of green tea extract to some hot water in a mug. Cover the mug for a few minutes and filter the mixture to extract the leaves. Add lemon and honey to add taste and drink it. Drink the tea three to four times each day.

2. Castor Oil

Castor oil is another effective home remedy for allergies. It increases the strength of your stomach and boosts its resistance to various types of food, which eventually eases the food allergies in your body. Simply add half a tablespoon of castor oil in a cup of water or juice. Drink the mixture each day on empty stomach. Repeat this treatment until your condition improves.

3. Bananas

Bananas are rich in various nutrients and can ease the symptoms of food allergies. For instance, bananas help with regulating the body’s metabolism, providing relief from rashes and reducing general discomfort.

You may not be able to cure allergic reactions with bananas, but you can be able to ease the symptoms. Bananas are also said to ease the severity of food allergies. However, a few sensitive individuals may suffer from an allergic response to bananas as well. In such cases, the individual should avoid this fruit.

4. Foods Rich in Vitamin E

Foods that are rich in vitamin E can also aid in fighting allergies. The foods that have Vitamin E content include olive oil, broccoli, spinach, tofu, almonds, rainbow trout, shrimps, and avocados. Eat them if you have a food allergy since Vitamin E is anti allergenic.

In addition, vitamin E improves and strengthens the immune system, which enables it to stop wrongly classifying various proteins as toxic substances.

5. Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Food with high vitamin C contains can also boost the immune system. Vitamin C has powerful anti-histamine properties and aids in reducing the production of histamines in your body. This helps in eradicating toxic substances from your body.

Simply add foods rich in vitamin C in your daily diet. These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peepers, grape fruits, tomatoes, lemons and strawberries. Before consuming any of these foods, make sure you don’t develop allergic reactions to them.