Majority of the people in the world suffer from allergies of one kind or the other. People are seen to be allergic to a lot of things. When one person may be allergic to dust, another one might show an allergic reaction to something as harmless as a flower. So an allergy is defined by the body peculiarities of a person and is not a disease by itself. In the simplest sense, an allergy is the reaction of our immunity to a possible threat to our body. Among the different kinds of allergies, food allergy is really a matter of concern.
Certain food items are found to cause allergies in several people. The most common of those food types are chocolate, milk, nuts and seafood. But at the same time, it is also true that these are the items that are widely consumed by people everywhere. A vast number of individuals show typical reactions to a particular kind of food. But this may not essentially be an allergy. It is often termed as ‘food intolerance’. The multitude of reactions of people to food items can be occupied within this term. The reactions may or may not be the symptoms of an allergy.
It has been studied that food allergy in the real sense is suffered by only 12% of adults and less than 8% of children. The rest of the population just shows sensitiveness to certain kinds of food, that come out as reactions in the body which is often confused with food allergies. Children are found to overcome most of their sensitivities to food when they grow up.
Fish and curd when consumed together, can result in stomach pain in some people. This has nothing to do with allergy. It is quite natural while food items that don’t comply with each other are digested together. Furthermore, if the person is sensitive to fish or curd, the reaction can be deeper. Likewise, the reactions toward milk and milk products are often counted as allergy. But in most of the cases it is food intolerance (intolerance to lactose).
There are also symptoms that evidently point to an allergy like vomiting, severe stomach pain, swelling, itching sensation in the mouth and tongue, diarrhea, wheezing and eczema which should not be disregarded. While the reactions of food intolerance are mild and short-lived, the reactions of food allergy can last long and be severe. Anaphylaxis is one such reaction that can be hazardous. It can trigger breathing difficulties or even chest pain.
If you suspect being allergic to a food item, you can ask a doctor to test you for the same. The most common test is the elimination test in which the suspected food item is excluded from the diet and included after a short period of time. If you are allergic, the reactions would reappear. Once it is confirmed that you are allergic to a particular food, the only way out is to avoid it completely. An allergy can only be prevented and not cured.