The Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI) warned on Wednesday, that not all negative reactions to any food are linked to allergy. According to PSAAI, some problems encountered after eating a specific food could be sourced from other kinds of reactions to food such as poisoning.
Below are the five things to know about how food allergies are often misunderstood.
1. Food allergy is a reaction that involves the immune system.
According to the allergy specialists, food allergy is an adverse reaction to food where the body’s immune system acts upon the allergens ingested in the body. Nearly one third of the adults believe that they have food allergy but true allergies to food are immunologic reactions. This happens when exposure to a particular protein in the food that an individual is sensitive to, leads to an interaction with the immunoglobulins (Ig) E antibody.
2. Not all negative reactions to food are caused by food allergy.
PSAAI reveals that aside from food allergy, several problems can arise after eating specific types of food, such as various kinds of reactions. These include food intolerance such as on lactose or milk, food poisoning when a contaminated food is consumed, and toxic reactions. Food intolerance is a reaction to foods or ingredients that do not involve the body’s immune system.
3. Peanuts are the likely cause of anaphylaxis among others.
The myth that only certain kinds of food can cause allergy was testified as true by PSAAI which named specific foods that cause allergies. Peanuts are identified to be the likely cause of anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction where the body becomes hypersensitive. Adults are more susceptible to contract an allergic reaction by consuming shellfish, fish, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. In children, the most common foods that cause allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts and fruits.
4. Food allergy can be deadly, even in small amounts.
Trying out small amounts of a certain food a person is allergic to can be deadly. PSAAI warns that food allergy is serious and can be deadly. The specialist recommends that the best way to outgrow food allergies in children is to practice a strict elimination diet. The food a person is identified to be sensitive with must be removed from the diet completely.
5. Allergy shots are not yet proven to prevent any allergic food reaction.
Allergy shots are not yet proven to decrease or prevent any allergic reaction. Today these shots are only given to control symptoms related to allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and insect bite hypersensitivities. The treatment is given regularly for a long time through injection of small quantities of allergen to which a person is allergic to. This reduces the symptoms of allergic reactions.
PSAAI urges people who presume to have food allergies to take the problem seriously and consult a board certified allergist. Click here to visit to visit PSAAI's official site if you need to find an allergist near your area.
What do you think of PSAAI’s findings on the beliefs in food allergy? Do you think it could be prevented? Let us know in the comments section below.