COULD YOU HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY?

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

If you think a par­tic­u­lar food is caus­ing allergy symp­toms, speak to your doc­tor about hav­ing a food allergy test. In the mean­time, avoid the food and be care­ful about con­tam­i­na­tion from other sources. It is not easy to pre­dict when a re­ac­tion will oc­cur or if your symp­toms will worsen or be­come life-threat­en­ing.

COM­MON CUL­PRITS

The most com­mon food-allergy trig­gers are eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat.

WHAT TO EX­PECT

The sever­ity of al­ler­gic re­ac­tions of­ten de­pend on:

The amount eaten

Whether the al­ler­gen was a liq­uid or a solid – liq­uids may ab­sorb faster Whether it is eaten on its own or mixed in with other foods

Whether the food is cooked, as cooked food is some­times bet­ter tol­er­ated

The pres­ence or ab­sence of asthma Where you are in your cy­cle

Al­co­hol in­take

How re­cently you ex­er­cised, as this may worsen symp­toms.

FOOD ALLERGY AND YOUR BODY

An al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to food can af­fect dif­fer­ent parts of the body in­clud­ing: Eyes – itch­ing, wa­ter­ing

Nose – stuffi­ness, sneez­ing, run­ning Mouth – itch­ing, swelling

Throat – swelling

Di­ges­tive sys­tem – stom­ach pains, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea

Skin – rashes, such as hives or atopic der­mati­tis.

Lungs – wheeze, cough, asthma Cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem – headache, ir­ri­tabil­ity, fa­tigue, con­vul­sions.

MAKE SURE YOU:

See an allergy spe­cial­ist who will help you write an ASCIA Ac­tion Plan Learn to recog­nise the early symp­toms of an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion, and know what to do if it hap­pens Al­ways carry your pre­scribed med­i­ca­tion.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

There are some less ob­vi­ous food al­ler­gies you should be aware of: Wine: Food al­ler­gens such as sul­phites and de­riv­a­tives of egg, fish, milk, and tree nuts may be used in the wine pro­duc­tion process. These sub­stances are re­moved through fil­tra­tion, but resid­ual amounts may be present in the fi­nal prod­uct. Vac­cines: Some vac­cines con­tain egg protein, in­clud­ing the flu vac­cine. If you or your child is al­ler­gic to eggs, tell your GP be­fore be­ing vac­ci­nated.

EAT­ING OUT?

While you can never to­tally re­move the risk of ac­ci­den­tal ex­po­sure to your food allergy trig­ger, a few sim­ple pre­cau­tions will

The most com­mon trig­gers are peanuts, soy and wheat

dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the risk. Con­tact the restau­rant in ad­vance and let them know that you have a food allergy. When you ar­rive, ask the waiter to let the kitchen staff know so they can take ex­tra care in pre­par­ing your meal and re­duce the risk of cross con­tam­i­na­tion. Be­fore start­ing your meal, touch test a small amount of the food on the out­side part of your lip be­fore putting it into your mouth. Warn­ing signs like tin­gling or swelling, should alert you to a food al­ler­gen.

ORAL ALLERGY SYN­DROME

Have you ever ex­pe­ri­enced itch­i­ness in your mouth and throat, some­times with mild swelling, straight after eat­ing fresh fruit or veg­eta­bles? Then you could be suf­fer­ing from oral allergy syn­drome. This is caused by allergy an­ti­bod­ies mis­tak­ing cer­tain pro­teins in fresh fruits, nuts or veg­eta­bles for pollen.

WHAT TO DO

The best way to avoid symp­toms is to cook fruit and veg­eta­bles. Some peo­ple with this syn­drome may ex­pe­ri­ence more se­vere symp­toms.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.