What are the most common food allergies?

Food allergies are extremely common. In fact, they affect about 5 % of adults and 8 % of children and these percentages are increasing. It is interesting to note that while it is possible for any food to cause an allergy, most food allergies are caused by very specific foods. This article is a detailed review of the most common food allergies. If this topic interests you, we invite you to read on.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is a situation in which certain foods cause an abnormal immune response. It is caused by your immune system mistakenly recognizing that certain proteins in a food are harmful. Your body then initiates a series of protective measures.

For people with a food allergy, exposure to very small amounts of problematic foods can cause an allergic reaction.

Symptoms can begin a few minutes after exposure to a few hours later and may include some of the following:

  • Swelling of the tongue, mouth or face
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchy rash
  • Arterial hypotension

What is food intolerance?

Many food intolerances are often confused with food allergies. Food intolerances never involve the immune system. This means that while they can have a serious impact on your quality of life, they are not life threatening. True food allergies can be divided into two classes of antibodies: immunoglobulin antibodies or non-immunoglobulin antibodies. Antibodies are a type of protein in the blood that your immune system uses to recognize and fight infections.

Here are some of the most common food allergies

  • Cow's milk

A cow's milk allergy is most often seen in babies and toddlers, especially when they were exposed to cow's milk proteins before the age of six months. It is one of the most common childhood allergies, affecting 2-3 % babies and toddlers.

  • Eggs

Egg allergy is the second most common cause of food allergy in children. In contrast, 68 % of children allergic to eggs cleared their allergy before the age of 16.

  • Wheat

A wheat allergy is an allergic response to any of the proteins found in wheat. It tends to affect mostly children. Children with wheat allergy are often cured before the age of 10.

Like other allergies, a wheat allergy can lead to digestive upset, hives, vomiting, rash, swelling and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.

  • The peanuts

Much like nut allergy, peanut allergy is very common and can cause serious and life-threatening allergic reactions however the two conditions are considered to be separate since a peanut is a legume. However, people who are allergic to peanuts are often also allergic to tree nuts.

The 4 food allergies described above are among the most common allergies. There are many others, however. Less common food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from a mild itchy mouth and mouth to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

If you have questions about a possible allergy and the onset of symptoms, it is important to see a specialist so that you can quickly get answers to your questions. The specialist and allergist Daniel Morin, present in the towns of Andrésy and L’isle-Adam, will provide you with the necessary answers. For more information, don't hesitate to visit its website.