Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Food allergy affects an estimated 6 to 8 percent of children under age 3 and up to 3 percent of adults. While there's no cure, some children outgrow their food allergy as they get older.
It's easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as food intolerance. While bothersome, food intolerance is a less serious condition that does not involve the immune system
Causes-When you have a food allergy, your immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food or a substance in food as something harmful. Your immune system triggers cells to release antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to neutralize the culprit food or food substance (the allergen). The next time you eat even the smallest amount of that food, the IgE antibodies sense it and signal your immune system to release a chemical called histamine, as well as other chemicals, into your bloodstream.
These chemicals cause a range of allergy signs and symptoms. They are responsible for causing allergic responses that include dripping nose, itchy eyes, dry throat, rashes and hives, nausea, diarrhea, labored breathing, and even anaphylactic shock.
The majority of food allergies are triggered by certain proteins in:
·         Shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster and crab
·         Peanuts
·         Tree nuts, such as walnuts and pecans
·         Fish
·         Eggs
In children, food allergies are commonly triggered by proteins in:
·         Eggs
·         Milk
·         Peanuts
·         Tree nuts
·         Wheat
Food intolerance and other reactions
There are a number of reactions to food that cause similar symptoms to a food allergy. Depending on the type of food intolerance you have, you may be able to eat small amounts of problem foods without a reaction. By contrast, if you have a true food allergy, even a tiny amount of food may trigger an allergic reaction.
Because a food intolerance may involve some of the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy does — such as nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea — people may confuse the two.
One of the tricky aspects of diagnosing food intolerance is that some people are sensitive not to the food itself but to a substance or ingredient used in the preparation of the food
Common conditions that can cause symptoms mistaken for a food allergy include:
Absence of an enzyme needed to fully digest a food. You may not have adequate amounts of some enzymes needed to digest certain foods. Insufficient quantities of the enzyme lactase, for example, reduce your ability to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk products. Lactose intolerance can cause bloating, cramping, diarrhea and excess gas.
Food poisoning. Sometimes food poisoning can mimic an allergic reaction. Bacteria in spoiled tuna and other fish also can make a toxin that triggers harmful reactions.
Sensitivity to food additives. Some people have digestive reactions and other symptoms after eating certain food additives. For example, sulfites used to preserve dried fruit, canned goods and wine can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people. Other food additives that could trigger severe reactions include monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners and food colorings.

Histamine toxicity. Certain fish, such as tuna or mackerel, that are not refrigerated properly and that contain high amounts of bacteria may contain high levels of histamine that trigger symptoms similar to those of food allergy. Rather than an allergic reaction, this is known as histamine toxicity or scombroid poisoning.
Celiac disease. While celiac disease is sometimes referred to as a gluten allergy, it isn't a true food allergy. Like a food allergy, it does involve an immune system response, but it's a unique immune system reaction that's more complex than a simple food allergy. This chronic digestive condition is triggered by eating gluten, a protein found in bread, pasta, cookies, and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye.
If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs that causes damage to the surface of your small intestine, leading to an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Symptoms-For some people, an allergic reaction to a particular food may be uncomfortable but not severe. For other people, an allergic food reaction can be frightening and even life-threatening. Food allergy symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to two hours after eating the offending food.
The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:
·         Tingling or itching in the mouth
·         Hives, itching or eczema
·         Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
·         Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
·         Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
·         Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
In some people, a food allergy can trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This can cause life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:
·         Constriction and tightening of airways
·         A swollen throat or the sensation of a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
·         Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
·         Rapid pulse
·         Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
Emergency treatment is critical for anaphylaxis. Untreated, anaphylaxis can cause a coma or even death.
Exercise-induced food allergy
Some people have an allergic reaction to a food triggered by exercise. Eating certain foods may cause you to feel itchy and lightheaded soon after you start exercising. In serious cases, an exercise-induced food allergy can cause certain reactions such as hives or anaphylaxis.
Not eating for a couple of hours before exercising and avoiding certain foods may help prevent this problem.
Pollen-food allergy syndrome
In many people who have hay fever, fresh fruits and vegetables and certain nuts and spices can trigger an allergic reaction that causes the mouth to tingle or itch. In some people, pollen-food allergy syndrome — sometimes called oral allergy syndrome — can cause swelling of the throat or even anaphylaxis.
This is an example of cross-reactivity. Proteins in fruits and vegetables cause the reaction because they're similar to those allergy-causing proteins found in certain pollens. For example, if you're allergic to ragweed, you may also react to melons; if you're allergic to birch pollen, you may also react to apples.
Cooking fruits and vegetables can help you avoid this reaction. Most cooked fruits and vegetables generally don't cause cross-reactive oral allergy symptoms.
Common cross-reactivity between pollens and fruits and vegetables:
Risk factors--Food allergy risk factors include:
Family history. You're at increased risk of food allergies if asthma, eczema, hives or allergies such as hay fever are common in your family.
A past food allergy. Children may outgrow a food allergy, but in some cases it returns later in life.
Other allergies. If you're already allergic to one food, you may be at increased risk of becoming allergic to another. Likewise, if you have other types of allergic reactions, such as hay fever or eczema, your risk of having a food allergy is greater.
Age. Food allergies are most common in children, especially toddlers and infants. As you grow older, your digestive system matures and your body is less likely to absorb food or food components that trigger allergies. Fortunately, children typically outgrow allergies to milk, soy, wheat and eggs. Severe allergies and allergies to nuts and shellfish are more likely to be lifelong.
Asthma. Asthma and food allergy commonly occur together. When they do, both food allergy and asthma symptoms are more likely to be severe.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing an anaphylactic reaction include:
·         Having a history of asthma

·         Being a teenager or younger
·         Waiting longer to use epinephrine to treat your food allergy symptoms
·         Not having hives or other skin symptoms
Homoeopathic remedies are very effective for allergy from foods. Some of the important remedies are given below.
CARBO VEG 30, NUX VOMICA 30 and SULPHUR 200-- Carbo Veg, Nux Vomica and Sulphur are top remedies for allergy from Egg. Carbo Veg and Nux Vomica are  prescribed  for egg allergy where gastric symptoms predominate. Carbo Veg is prescribed when loose offensive stool, gas in stomach, nausea and vomiting follow eating of eggs. If this is accompanied by pain in abdomen, then Nux Vomica is selected. When the gastric symptoms are accompanied by skin complaints like itching and burning sensation after eating eggs,then Sulphur is the best  medicine.

URTICA URENS 3X—Urtica urens is the best remedy for Shell fish allergy. This medicine is the best remedy when sudden hives with violent itching and burning follow eating shell fish. This  medicine has an excellent power to control such symptoms.

COLOCYNTH 30, LYCOPODIUM 30, and NATRUM MUR 30- Colocynth, Lycopodium,  and Natrum Mur. are best Homoeopathic remedies for allergy from Wheat.  Lycopodium helps in controlling the gastric symptoms, when loose stool with gas in abdomen predominates. Colocynth is the ideal  remedy for cramping pains in stomach accompanying loose stool.  Natrum Mur is prescribed when skin rash occurs either on its own or along with gastric trouble after taking wheat.

AETHUSA CYNAPIUM 30, CYNAPIUM 30, and NATRUM CARB. 30 and PULSATILLA NIG. 30-Aethusa Cynapium, Natrum Carb and Pulsatilla top  Homeopathic medicines for treating Milk allergy. Aethusa Cynapium is the best remedy when a person vomits immediately after milk enters the stomach. Sweating and weakness may follow vomiting. Natrum Carb is the ideal remedy when loose stool follows milk intake. Pulsatilla is used when milk or any milk product leads to an allergic reaction. The symptoms that call for the use of Pulsatilla are loose stool, nausea, vomiting, gas and acidity after taking milk or milk products. There’s a complete absence of thirst too.

COFFEA 30, IGNATIA 30, KALI PHOS 30, NUX VOMICA 30, RUMEX 30—Coffea, Ignatia, Kali phos, Nux vomica, Rumex are best Homoeopathic medicines for allergy from Banana .

ANITUM CRUDE 30- Antim crude is effective for allergy from fruits .

BACILLINUM 200, BRYONIA ALB. 30, PULSATILLA NIG. 30—Bacillinum, Bryonia, Pulsatilla 30 are effective remedies for allergy from Chicken and poultry products.

CALCAREA CARB. 30, LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM 30, PULSATILLA NIG. 30-Calcarea carb , Lycopodium, and Pulsatilla are top remedies for allergy from Dal.

LYSINUM 200, LECITHIN 3X- Lysinum and Lecithin are good remedies for Mutton allergy.

LACHESIS 200-Lachesis is effective for allergy from Vinegar, Pickles and sour acid fruits .

KALI BICHROMICUM 30- Kali bich is good for allergy from drinking alcoholic beverages like Brandy, Whisky .

FLUORIC ACID 30, KALI SULPH. 30—Fluoric acid, Kali sulph . are good remedies for Fish allergy.

ALUMINUM ACIDIUM 30—Aluminum acidum is effective foe allergy from Gluten.

NATRUM CARB 30, PHOSPHORUS 30- Natrum carb, Phosphorus are effective for allergy from Honey.

CARCINISIN 200, LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM 30, SULPHUR 200 and THUJA OCC. 200-Carcinosin, Lycopodium, Sulphur and Thuja occ. Are good remedies for allergy from Onion.

MORBILINUM 200- Morbilinum is effective for allergy from Peanuts.


TELLURIUM 30—Ignatia,Kali nitricum, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Tellurium are top remedies for allergy from Rice.

OEANDER Q- Oleander is very effective for allergy from Tomatoes

NUX VOMICA 30—Nux vomica is effective for allergy from Coffee

SACCHARUM OFF. 30- Saccharum off. Is effective for allergy from Sugar.

ZINGIBER OFFICINALIS 30- Zingiber officinalis is used for allergy after eating Melons.

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