About Food Allergy
A food allergy is an exaggerated immune response triggered by eggs, peanuts, milk, or some other specific food. The immune system in this case is behaving as if the food protein is a harmful, such as a microbe.
The cause of food allergies is related to your body making a type of allergy-producing substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody to a particular food. This is different than food intolerance which is usually not serious or life threatening like food allergy. Examples of food intolerance include lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance.
Any food can cause an allergic reaction. Common causes include Eggs, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster), Soy, Tree nuts and Wheat. Food additives – such as dyes, thickeners, and preservatives – may rarely cause an allergic or intolerance reaction.
Symptoms usually begin immediately, usually within 2 hours after eating. Key symptoms include hives, hoarse voice, cough or wheezing. Other symptoms that may occur include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, Itching of the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, or any area, Light headedness or fainting, nasal congestion, nausea, runny nose, patches of itchy and scaly skin (atopic eczema), skin may peel or blister, swelling (angioedema), especially of the eyelids, face, lips, and tongue, shortness of breath, stomach cramps or vomiting.
Never try to deliberately cause a reaction or reintroduce a food on your own. These tests should only be performed under the guidance of a specialized doctor.