A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to food. Certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, also are common food allergy triggers and considered a major allergen in some countries. A food allergy reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to a food or a substance in a food, identifying it as a danger and triggering a protective response.
The signs and symptoms include itchiness, swelling of the tongue, vomiting , diarrhea, trouble breathing, or low blood pressure. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract. When the symptoms are severe it is known as anaphylaxis.
The primary way to manage a food allergy is to avoid consuming the food that causes the problems. We should carefully check ingredient labels of food products, and learn whether what we need to avoid is known by other names. If the food is accidentally ingested and a systemic reaction occurs, then epinephrine should be used. Other treatments include: antihistamines, and steroids .
A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) toanaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that food allergies result in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18.