How Do I Know If I Have A Food Allergy?

Understanding Food Allergies

Many people claim to have a food allergy when in reality they have intolerance to a certain food. This could be due to some of the symptoms of a food intolerance resembling those of food allergy.

The most common foods known to trigger an allergic reaction are peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, shellfish, soy and tree nuts.

How Do I Know If I Have A Food Allergy

A food allergy is when your body’s immune system rejects a food and reacts. Histamine and certain antibodies are then released into your bloodstream along with other substances to fight the food allergen. These substances can cause you to experience symptoms such as breaking out in hives, a runny nose, itchy or swollen eyes, a swollen mouth and throat, constant coughing, wheezing and the appearance of itchy skin rashes. Severe reactions may include low blood pressure, blocked airways, difficulty in breathing and anaphylactic shock.

On the other hand, if you have a food intolerance, the symptoms you may experience are generally less serious and cause minor nuisances such as bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Symptoms such as those mentioned above, can manifest in as little as 30 minutes after foods have been ingested. However this will depend on the amount of food you have eaten and your body’s reaction to the allergen.

How to deal with a food allergies

  • completely avoid the food you have experienced a reaction to
  • Familiarize yourself with food labels and warnings which indicate “traces of…”, or “may contain…” as a result of the manufacturing process.
  • When you dine out, make sure you research ahead of time or call the restaurant in advance about your allergies.
  • Schedule an appointment with your local health provider. They may also run some blood tests and ask you to keep a food journal so that you can track which specific foods cause an allergic reaction.

With less than 5% of the adult population and 10% of children  experiencing food allergies – many of whom eventually outgrow their allergy, the good news the symptoms you experience ingesting a certain food  is more likely to be a food intolerance.

Although researching your symptoms is recommend to expand your knowledge on the topic of food allergies and food intolerances to answer the question “How do I know if I have a Food Allergy?”, self- diagnosis is never recommended to replace the expertize of a qualified medical practitioner.

Available to customers within the United States is the ALCAT Food Sensitivity Home Kit.  This allows you to quickly test for 10 allergens –all in the comfort of your home.



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