Food allergies are the hypersensitivity reactions of the immune system to a naturally harmless substance present in the food. This denotes that prior to any allergic reaction; the individual has to be exposed to the allergen before. During the initial exposure, the allergen rouses the lymphocytes to generate the IgE antibody that works specifically with the type of allergen.
The produced IgE is discharged and then attached to the mast cells that exist in the various body tissues. For the next round that the allergic person takes in the same food, the allergens prompt the IgE antibody which are present on the surface of most of the mast cells and therefore trigger the release of the chemicals like the histamine. The symptoms that come around generally depend on the kind of tissue that releases the antibody.
Some Common Signs and Symptoms of Food Allergies
Food digestion is by and large a quite complicated process. Hence, it likewise produces a certain kind of effect on the location, the timing, and the symptoms that surface in relation to an allergic response to the ingested food. The signs and symptoms may occur between a few minutes to one hour after eating.
Typically, the food allergy is mostly felt as an itching in the mouth or as some kind of difficulty in breathing and swallowing. After which, some other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea can arise during the process of food digestion in the intestines and stomach.
Anyhow, it is obvious that the allergens get absorbed and then they pass through the bloodstream. As soon as they reach the skin, they start inducing eczema or hives. Now when they come across the airways, they take the form of asthma. They travel around and then get into the blood vessels which may trigger weakness, lightheadedness, and also anaphylaxis or the abrupt drop in the blood pressure.
It may begin as a mild symptom like the tingling in the throat or mouth and the discomfort inside of the abdomen. However, it can be fatal whenever left untreated.
Food Allergy Problems with Infants and Children
Many of the known allergies to food actually start off between the first and second year of one’s life span. There are instances when they get resolved such as the allergies to eggs or cow’s milk. However, there are some which may be carried on until adulthood like the allergy to shellfish or nuts. Infants and very young children tend to exude allergies to soy formula or milk.
This may not include the attack of asthma or hives as symptoms but they take the form of other signs which are closely related to infantile colic, poor growth, or some blood in the stool.
Infantile colic begins right within the first month of the infant’s birth and this involves a baby who cries and then sleeps poorly during the night. It is seen that the allergy to soy or milk diet is one intervening factor. The allergies among infants and young children are diagnosed during the food challenge or the changing of their diet.
Infants and children can feel the worst during food allergies especially that their immune systems are not yet that stable. They may feel the itchiness and they may sneeze or wheeze. Their temperaments and behavior are quite a challenge too.
It is therefore important to have them checked out by the pediatricians so that they will be administered with the right kind of treatment and their diet be changed.