A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein. It is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. They are different from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacological reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions. The protein in the food is the most common allergic component. Some food allergens include milk, nuts, shellfish, egg, soy products etc. The symptoms include digestive problems, wheezing, Diarrhoea, Vomiting, nausea, hives or swollen airways. A food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis, which needs immediate medication. Food allergies involve two features of immune response, the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and the mast cells. Treatment consists of either immunotherapy (desensitisation) or avoidance, in which the allergic person avoids food to which they are allergic.
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Last date updated on July, 2014