Do you feel bad after eating certain foods? Are your symptoms caused by a food allergy? This health blurb offers some fundamental information, yet one way to be sure is to have a food allergy test done.
A food allergy is your body’s immune system inappropriately responding to a component in food, usually a protein. Allergic reaction symptoms to food could happen in a matter of minutes or take as long as an hour. And for some, the reaction is so severe that it causes death.
Basically what happens when you’re allergic to a certain food is at some point your body determined it to be allergen. As a result, an antibody is produced that’s designed to guard against another invasion by that food. Eat it after this faulty determination and a histamine bombardment causes many of those symptoms associated with an allergy.
When you first take a bite of an allergic reaction causing food you may experience mouth itchiness, swollen tongue, metallic taste and swallowing difficulty. As this food is digested through your gastrointestinal system, it may cause some of these symptoms:
Should the food allergen be absorbed into your bloodstream and travel out to your skin, then hives and rash may appear. And your skin condition may or may not itch. You could also experience further symptoms, like:
- runny nose
- throat tightness
- difficulty breathing
- hypotension causing faint feeling
The degree of allergy symptoms and the amount of food needed to elicit a reaction varies among individuals.
Some foods known to cause an allergic reactions are:
- tree nuts
Nuts are the leading cause of the potentially deadly anaphylaxis reaction.
What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance? Those with food intolerance (gluten, lactose) may experience digestive type symptoms similar to a food allergy, but the cause is typically due to a lacking enzyme and not a reaction generated by the immune system. A food intolerance is far more common than a food allergy.
Other chemicals affiliated with food that might be causing your symptoms are:
- food additives
- food poisoning
If your symptoms indicate you have a food allergy, then a confirming test probably should be done by your health care provider.
Food Allergy Test
There are a couple approaches when testing for a food allergy. One is a skin prick test wherein a small amount of the food is placed on the skin and the area is pricked with a needle to get it under the surface. If you’re allergic your skin will react. Another is a blood test that checks the amount of antibodies produced in response to eating a particular food.
Standing alone, these food allergy tests are not considered foolproof. In order to strengthen these test results, any other health condition that could cause your symptoms needs to be ruled out as well.