A person can develop a food allergy at any point in the life cycle. Nearly 15 million Americans have a food allergy: 9 million adults and 6 million children. Food allergies can be scary, especially if the reaction is severe and potentially life-threatening.
FARE, or Food Allergy Research & Education, supplies a wealth of information regarding food allergies on their website, http://www.foodallergy.org. According to FARE, food allergies are a growing public health concern in America, and more and more people are developing food allergies every day.
Eight foods cause 90% of allergic reactions. These are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (i.e. walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. The most common food allergies that occur during childhood are milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. Luckily, most of the time, these resolve in childhood; however, not always.
Food allergies can be extremely dangerous due to the risk of anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis are difficulty breathing and reduced blood pressure that can cause paleness of the skin, weak pulse, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Immediately call 911 if you think the reaction is severe.
Other reactions that may occur due to a food allergy are skin symptoms (itchy, blotchy patches, rash), swollen lips, diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach cramping. Be sure to contact a medical doctor if you think you or your child are experiencing signs and symptoms of a food allergy.
For more information, please visit FARE’s website or contact a medical professional.