While the cause for this rise is not yet known, an understanding of food allergies can help you recognize the symptoms early. This may also help you identify whether your child is more likely to develop a food allergy Allergies occur when a persons immune system overreacts to a substance. In Australia, an estimated 1 in 20 children (5 percent) are affected by a food allergy.
With a food allergy, the body responds to a harmless substance in the food, usually a protein, as though it were toxic. This immune system overreaction can cause a number of symptoms.
Symptoms of a food allergy will typically appear within 30 minutes of eating the allergen food.
Mild-to-moderate allergic reaction
Tingling in the mouth
Hives, welts or body redness
Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
Abdominal pain Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Difficulty and/or noisy breathing
Swelling of the tongue
Swelling or tightness in the throat
Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
Wheeze or persistent cough
Loss of consciousness and/or collapse
Young children become pale and floppy.
Food intolerance is an adverse reaction to a chemical in a food or drink. It differs from a food allergy in that no immune response is involved.
Common symptoms of food intolerance include:
Asthma symptoms can also be triggered in some people.
The severity of an adverse reaction is linked to the amount of the culprit food consumed, the more a person consumes, the more severe the reaction will be. It is common for patients with food intolerance to react to several chemicals that are found in a wide range of foods. A family history of symptoms and specific chemical intolerances is common.
It can be difficult to determine whether a person has an allergy or intolerance to certain foods so it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Extract taken from Bupa Global a-z Health.
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