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  Sep 28, 2018

What is a Food Allergy?

Food allergy refers to the adverse reaction the body's immune system has to certain foods in some individuals. While most allergic reactions are mild and easily managed, these responses can also be serious and life threatening, causing anaphylaxis and even death.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of food allergies include:

  • Itchiness within and around the mouth, throat and ears
  • Raised, blotchy bumps forming a rash called nettle rash or urticaria
  • Swelling of subcutaneous tissue (angioedema) around the lips, tongue and palate
  • A very severe form of allergic reaction is known of as anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty in breathing, swelling inside the airways and larynx that can cause choking, dizziness and even loss of consciousness. Angioedema of the lips, hands, feet and face may also occur. In addition, blood pressure can fall rapidly leaving the skin cold and clammy and sending the patient into shock

Causes

In the case of allergic reactions to food, the immune system identifies the proteins contained within food as foreign bodies and mounts an attack in the same way as it does when microbes and bacteria are detected. The immune system rel