Food, when on one hand is very essential for our body, on the other hand can become a grave problem. There are hundreds of foods out there which your body is sensitive to. We call this “Food allergy”. A person at times, after a particular ingredient, shows abnormal reactions like rashes, swelling, itchiness, sores etc. This is nothing but an immunogenic response given by your body. It happens when, the body’s self-defense system, is overly active and it starts considering a particular food element as a foreign particle. The antibodies which are produced in this battle are the reason behind those allergic symptoms. It is hard to predict as to which food can sensitize you. It is only after the symptoms, that you know that you are allergic. The list of foods that can give rise to allergic reactions is pretty long. But there are a few elements which are responsible for almost 80% of Food Allergy cases. Depending on this, the following are the top 10 types of food allergies.
10. Sesame allergy
In the recent times, the number of patients reporting sesame allergy has increased markedly. It is because sesame has now gained a wide acceptance throughout the globe. Sesame is used for its exotic flavor. It is used to garnish various cuisines. Sesame oil is also widely used in salads and continental foods. Sesame allergy can be very serious if untreated as it can give rise to an anaphylactic shock as well. Allergic people should avoid the use of the seeds as well the compressed oil of the seeds.
9. Celiac disease or gluten intolerance
Gluten is a constituent of a wide variety of foodstuffs. It is largely found in cereals like barley, oats, rye etc. It is basically a mixture of several proteins. This is actually a chronic disease and eventually the stomach lining degrades completely. Due to this the body is not able to absorb nutrients and consequently becomes malnourished. It has been estimated that 1 out of every 300 people in US and UK suffer from celiac disease. The only way to treat this is to avoid gluten containing edibles. There is no other cure for this.
8. Soy allergy
Soy is one of the most common allergens in US. It has been seen that it affects children more. Soy allergy is rarely found in adults. Around 0.4% children in America report soy allergy and 50% of these grow out of it by the time they reach 7 years of age. Soy is a very widely used in packaged foods. Breakfast cereals, ice creams, drinks, processed meat etc. all contain soy. The symptoms include, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and breathing problems.
7. Wheat allergy
This is another type of allergy which largely affects the children. About 0.4% children in America alone suffer from this. But most of them, almost 80%, grow out of it by the time they are 6 years of age. Wheat contains a constituent which is called gliadin. This is thought to be the reason for causing allergies. This gliadin is also found in gluten. This is the reason that people who are allergic to wheat are asked to avoid gluten containing edibles as well. People having wheat allergy should also avoid beer, Kamet, crab meat as they contain similar proteins to wheat.
6. Fish allergy
Another common type of allergy is “fish allergy”. It has been reported that around 0.4% of adults and 0.1% of children in USA suffer from fish allergy. A person might develop fish allergy in his adulthood as well. This type of allergy is usually lifelong and severe. In this case, a person might be allergic to just one type of fish species and may consume the others safely. The symptoms include vomiting, swelling of the mouth and the throat and breathing problems etc. Seek medical help immediately is you see such symptoms after consuming any fish food.
5. Egg allergy
Egg allergy is among the most common allergies that are seen in children. It has been reported that around 1.5% of children in America alone suffer from egg allergy. The good thing is that more than 80% of these children grow out of it by the age of 6. Egg is not considered as an allergen for adults. It may happen that the child is allergic to just the egg white or just the egg yolk or to both. The problematic constituents in the egg are ovalbumin, ovomucoid, and conalbumin. Some of these can be destroyed by cooking but some still remain. Some children might react to cooked eggs as well. People allergic to turkey, chicken might also show egg allergy.
4. Tree nuts allergy
Tree nut allergy is seen in both adults and children. It has been reported that around 1.1% children and around 0.5% adults in US report tree nut allergy. It is also being seen that the cases of tree nut allergy are on the rise. Only about 9% of the children recover from this allergy. The culprit nuts are walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts etc. People allergic to one type of nut might be allergic to other nuts as well. Tree nut allergy is much severe than milk, fish and egg allergy. It can cause anaphylactic shock as well.
3. Shellfish allergy
This is probably the most common food allergy found in adults. It has been reported that about 2% of adults in US alone have shellfish allergy. Its presence in children is lesser widespread as only 0.1% of children show shellfish allergy. This type of allergy is lifelong and severe and often strikes in adulthood. These people are sensitive to shrimps, oysters, crabs, prawns, mussels, crayfish etc. It may be that if a person is allergic is one shellfish, he may be allergic to others as well.
2. Peanut allergy
Peanuts are one of the common types of allergies which end up in an anaphylactic shock. It has been reported that 1.6% adults and 0.6% children suffer from peanut allergy. This type of allergy is lifelong and children very rarely grow out of it. Very little amount of peanut is enough to induce a reaction. People have reacted when they consumed food which was cooked in vessels containing peanuts. Some people having peanut allergy might be allergic to soy, green peas, kidney beans etc.
1. Milk allergy
This is the most common type of allergy noted in children. Around 2.5% children have allergy to cow’s milk. But it has been seen that 80% of these children recover from this by the age of 6. This type of allergy is also seen in adults to some extent. The cause for the allergic reactions is largely a milk protein called Alpha S1 casein. The main symptoms are respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes and at times a person might get an anaphylactic shock. Children with milk allergy should not be given any dairy products.Substitutes like rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk can be used instead.