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Home / Health / Food allergies do not have to turn food into a nightmare, says DR MIKE DILKES

Food allergies do not have to turn food into a nightmare, says DR MIKE DILKES

If you are among the three percent of the population that has a food allergy, you know about it. The symptoms are varied and often debilitating, including tingling and itching in the mouth and throat, hives and swelling around the eyes, lips or tongue.

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system responds to a specific food release such as nuts or kidney shellfish.

Every time the trigger is eaten, the immune system detects danger and acts quickly to prevent the culprit from invading the body. Chemicals are released in the body, causing a sometimes extreme reaction.

  Allergy sufferers can still enjoy a meal if appropriate precautions are taken

Many people may complain of flatulence, nausea, and headaches after taking something – but this is not to be confused with an allergy. that these people suffer from intolerance whose symptoms can be painful and even distressing, but not life-threatening.

Food allergies tend to run in families, and it is believed that that they are genetically conditioned. They are more common in children, although most of them are older than school age.

Referrals to specialized allergy units are hard to find, leaving many in the pillar looking for a diagnosis.

But the diagnosis is essential – symptoms that are mild at first reaction may be severe the next time, so there's no way to tell when a more serious and possibly even fatal attack may occur to give you the best chances for a diagnosis. Then use my fail-safe, scientifically-backed tips to control it so you can eat in peace.


To begin with, is a list of the most commonly recommended foods that cause allergies. These include cow's milk, eggs, tree nuts – such as almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts – and peanuts, which are not really nuts, but legumes that belong to the pea family. Wheat, soy (including soymilk, tofu and soybeans found in ready meals and other foods such as beef burgers), fish and shellfish are also common.

Case Study: Boy Taking His Own Cake – and EpiPen – Partying

Friends and school disco are not fun for nine-year-old Jake Heawood.

Born of a catalog of serious allergies, including nuts, eggs and pollen, any social outing is potentially dangerous

He also suffers from asthma, challenging sports games with friends.

  Jake Heawood takes an epiPen and a snack (pictured) when he goes out

Jake Heawood takes an epiPen and a Takeaway (picture) when he goes out

"If he goes anywhere, I make sure he has his EpiPen and a snack," he tells his mother Gemma, 29.

Jake's unhappy state is hardly surprising , given his family history. Gemma from Dorset had the same allergies all her life.

"It was pretty miserable when I grew up," she recalls.

"When traveling with my friends, I would not be content with carrot sticks at all. "

Well, a businesswoman, says Gemma, is still often misinterpreted as a picky eater.

" People think I'm upset because I do not like certain foods, but I can. "Risking to eat what the others are, I'm anaphylactic for peanuts, and when I eat eggs, I get seriously ill."

But according to Gemma, Jake is fortunate enough to grow up in a time when we're more up Allergies pay attention as ever – a stark contrast to their experience.

She says: & # 39; It's much better now than in my youth, you can order egg-free cakes – that was never an option when I was younger

"When Jake goes to a party, I will first talk to the parents about what food they are serving and if there is a problem I will make him a small, egg-free cake."

As for Gemma, so Their repertoire of food has grown far beyond carrot sticks and empty plates.

"I still have problems, but overall – now that restaurants and takeaways are being held accountable – I feel more self-confident trying different foods.

" I had my first curry to take away just two years ago and luckily, my local chip shop now serves egg-free dough. "[194559004]

If you or a family member experiences reactions to those or other foods described above, make a note of them all Relapses: everything that was eaten at that time and what has happened physically.

Take this list with you on your family doctor helps them to act quickly and to organize the most accurate and appropriate tests.If you need a referral to a specialist center For allergy sufferers, there are two tests that doctors are likely to perform.

The first is a skin prick test during the test s a nurse or doctor punctures a piece of food with a needle and pierces it immediately into the skin, usually on the inside of the forearm. After ten minutes, the area is examined for any reaction.

If you are taking allergy medications such as antihistamines or steroids, this test will not work. They should not be taken for a week if possible.

The other way to test for food allergies is to have a blood test that looks for specific immune cells, the IgE antibodies, that are produced in response to individual foods.

often referred to as an allergen-specific IgE antibody test. Some general practitioners may run this test before making a referral.

By mistake, some private clinics offer a different blood test, referred to as total IgE. However, these should be avoided as they are nonspecific and not at all helpful.

Some allergy specialists suggest trying an excretion diet – to cut off the food that is believed to have caused the allergic reaction before it is reintroduced. If the symptoms disappear when the food is removed, but re-emerge after reintroducing the food, this usually indicates a food allergy or intolerance. This should always be done under the supervision of your doctor.

Other bizarre tests I've heard include Vega tests claiming to detect allergies by measuring changes in your electromagnetic field, and kinesiology tests claiming to detect food allergies by examining your muscle reactions and hair analysis. Another, so-called leukocyte test, is to detect food allergies by checking for "swelling of the white blood cells". These are not scientifically proven and should be avoided.


? EXPERIENCE? Food allergies are somewhat uncomplicated in some ways. You just have to avoid eating what you are allergic to.

You may have heard of people who are allergic to peanuts that have a deadly reaction, even if they have only the smallest microscopic amount or even react to peanut particles in the air.

All allergies exist in one spectrum, and these are the rarest serious cases – and I will refer to this page.

For the vast majority of food allergy sufferers, it's sufficient to take care of what you eat to avoid discomfort.

1. Eating, but with caution

Allergy sufferers can still enjoy a meal, provided appropriate precautions are taken.

It goes without saying that food labels are read carefully and questions are asked. According to the Food Standards Agency, food companies in the UK (including restaurants, cafes, takeaways and food manufacturers) must indicate whether they use common allergens.

But only 14 of the most common allergens are included in this requirement If your allergy is very common, you have to ask specific questions.

This list includes celery, cereals, shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, mustard, nuts, sesame, soybeans and compounds known as sulfites in dried fruits and alcohol.

  According to the Food Standards Agency, food companies in the UK have to tell you if they use common allergens. However, only 14 of the most common allergens (eg eggs) are included in this requirement

According to the Food Standards Agency, UK food companies must tell you if they use common allergens. Only 14 of the most common allergens (eg eggs) are included in this requirement.

In places where food is eaten, allergen information must be provided in writing, eg. In a menu. However, freshly-made foods such as sandwiches need not be labeled with allergen information.

For prepackaged foods, terms such as "may contain" warn customers about small amounts of allergen, but this is not a legal requirement.

You can also sign up for emails from the Advertising Standards Agency and Allergy UK – both offering a free newsletter on food products withdrawn or recalled due to a labeling issue or food allergy risk.

Did you know? Food allergens may remain on items such as a mobile phone

  • Food allergens remain on items such as a cell phone or keyboard unless carefully cleaned. Touching causes a rash.
  • Simple breathing exercises can alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with allergies and alleviate the symptoms.

. 2 Be wary of red wine and sauerkraut

Some hypersensitive individuals may experience symptoms that are not technically allergic. In particular, foods that are contained in a chemical called tyramine.

This is because tyramine is a similar compound to histamine, the body-released chemical that causes allergic symptoms. Although technically not an allergy, the symptoms can be annoying for people with severe allergies.

These include red wine, fish and fermented foods like sauerkraut. Allergy sufferers also often respond to chemicals in white, rose and red wines.

3. Try to take antihistamines

In mild to moderate cases, oral antihistamines can help reduce the effects of a food reaction if you accidentally eat something you are allergic to.

These are available from the pharmacist stronger doses prescribed by the family doctor. Some antihistamines, such as alimemazine and promethazine, are not suitable for children under the age of two.

If your child is under the age of two and requires medication, talk to your family doctor who will advise you about possible antihistamines infants.

Avoid mixing antihistamines with alcohol, especially when driving, as even sleepy people can not get tired.

  In severe reactions - known as anaphylaxis - a chemical called epinephrine should be used via an EpiPen

. In severe reactions – known as anaphylaxis – a chemical called epinephrine should be administered via an EpiPen

4. Many of you will have to carry an EpiPen

. In severe reactions – known as anaphylaxis – a shot of a chemical called adrenaline should be administered via an EpiPen or equivalent injector pen.

Adrenaline acts by narrowing the blood vessels to counteract the effects of low blood pressure and open the airways to relieve breathing difficulties.

5. You are probably not allergic to gluten

Despite what many believe, there is no gluten allergy.

Those who experience symptoms such as bloating, constipation or general malaise after eating gluten are most likely to suffer intolerance. Here, the body is unable to digest gluten effectively, and not a flaw in the immune system as in allergies. It is an important distinction to make sure that allergy sufferers receive the life-saving diagnosis they need.

However, there is another disease, celiac disease, which refers directly to gluten.

However, the immune system is involved here. It is still not an allergy. More information about celiac disease can be found in the box below.

Gluten allergy does not exist: Why do so many go gluten-free?

It's almost trendy to say you have a "gluten allergy" these days.

Gluten, a protein in wheat, is not listed on the list of common food allergies. Reactions to wheat can be seen, but this is not due to gluten.

There is another disease called celiac disease, which is diagnosed with a specific series of tests.

One percent of Britons are affected in celiac disease The immune system reacts to a gluten-derived protein called gliadin. The protein triggers when consumed hormones, called cytokines, which lead to intestinal damage.

Left untreated, it can cause holes and increase the risk of colorectal cancer. However, this is not an allergy.

If you have persistent and severe digestive problems after eating wheat, ask your GP to check for celiac disease.

Why do so many people suddenly avoid gluten?

Some people say that they experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, and constipation when they consume gluten-containing foods.

Experts are not sure yet why this is the case, but have characterized the phenomenon of "unspecific gluten sensitivity".

However, scientists are still unsure whether gluten is the culprit here. Many foods that contain gluten and trigger symptoms contain other ingredients known to cause stomach upset.

This is also not an allergy, but most likely a mistake in the digestive system of the individual.

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