Food allergies can be a tricky obstacle, but did you know that food allergies are actually quite common? Believe it or not, nearly 5% of adults and 8% of children have at least one food allergy, and most of these food allergies boil down to 8 common food products. For your better understanding, Dr. Erika Bradshaw has provided a list of these common cultripts and the risks they may pose.
- Eggs. An egg allergy is fairly common in children, but most tend to grow out of it by the time they turn 16. Common symptoms of an egg allergy include: digestive issues, skin rashes or hives, and respiratory distress. It is possible to have an allergy to just egg whites or just the yolk; in fact egg whites are more likely to cause a reaction than egg yolks.
- Tree Nuts. Nearly 1% of the US population has some form of tree nut allergy. While tree nut allergies are common, it is one of the more tricky allergies because so many food products can either be made with or near tree nuts. Those who have been diagnosed with a tree nut allergy are often advised to avoid all tree nuts, as an allergy to one tree nut may increase the risk of developing an allergy to another tree nut. Carrying an EpiPen is also strongly advised for this type of allergy.
- Cow’s Milk. A common allergy in babies, especially if they have been exposed to cow’s milk before the age of 6 months old. If a baby suffers from this allergy and is breastfed, then the mother will need to remove all cow’s milk products from her diet as well. Common symptoms of cow milk allergies include swelling, vomiting, rashes, and hives. While it can affect children through their toddler years, 90% of children will outgrow this allergy.
- Shellfish. Shellfish can often trigger unpleasant reactions if contaminated, making it difficult for many to distinguish a shellfish allergy from a case of food poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. This type of allergy has not been known to resolve over time, so those who are affected will most likely need to avoid shellfish permanently.
- Peanuts. This allergy, though similar to tree nut allergies, is separate as peanuts grow in the ground and can be in some cases quite severe. Many patients who have a peanut allergy are also allergic to tree nuts. This allergy most commonly affects children, but maybe outgrown during the teenage years.
- Soy. This allergy is the most common food allergy in children under the age of 3, but nearly 70% of affected children will outgrow the allergy by teenage years. Common symptoms include a tingling mouth, a runny nose, rashes, and breathing difficulties. The most important thing you can do when you have a soy allergy is to always read food labels, as many food products contain soy or are made in areas where soy products are used.
- Wheat. Wheat allergies present similarly to other allergic reactions with common symptoms being digestive issues, vomiting, hives, rashes, and swelling. This allergy is most commonly diagnosed in children but some will outgrow it by the time they reach the age of 10. Those with a wheat allergy tend to have severe reactions that could prove fatal, so it is strongly advised to avoid wheat products entirely.
- Fish. Nearly 2% of adults are affected by a fish allergy. Unlike many other food allergies, a fish allergy can actually develop later in adulthood. Fish allergy reactions can be quite severe, and those affected are advised to carry an EpiPen. Common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Similar to the shellfish allergy, fish allergies are often hard to detect due to the fact that the symptoms are often mistaken for food poisoning.
Regardless of which food allergy you may have, you should always consult with your doctor to discuss how to properly manage your diet and whether or not you should carry an EpiPen. All food allergies can become severe under the right circumstances, so you want to make sure you are fully prepared should there be an emergency. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us at Transform Your Health PLLC, today!