Food allergies occur when the immune system has an abnormal response to a food particle and resulting symptoms can range from mildly inconvenient to life threatening for those affected by it. So why do certain people react abnormally to certain types of food, but others do not? Simply put, the body’s immune system is responding to this food as if it were a threat.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, it’s a two-step process:
One of the worst types of allergic reactions to food is anaphylaxis, which often includes hives, swelling of the tongue, lips, or eyes, difficulty breathing, palpitations, and even unconsciousness. This is one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with a food allergy, and it’s important to prepare for what to do if you’re exposed to any potentially life threatening allergen. For example, a person with severe peanut allergies may experience a severe reaction not just by eating the food but by touching it, using a product on the skin that contains peanut, or breathing in peanut dust.
Eight foods are responsible for about 90 percent of food-related allergic reactions in the United States: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Although some food allergies can be revealed through blood or skin prick testing, food challenge tests are the most effective method.
If you think you may have a food allergy, it’s important to receive professional allergy testing from a specialist. ZendyHealth works with board certified providers who offer allergy testing. You do not need a prescription to get an allergy test – and with ZendyHealth, allergy testing can be done inexpensively with top providers near you.