Having an allergy to a certain food can trigger an allergic reaction when we consume it, which could become very serious. Find out what they are and what to do.

An allergic reaction to a food is a type of immune response that the body triggers when a food is consumed that causes this reaction, mainly because these foods have a high content of allergens.

This is what usually happens and especially with foods such as shellfish, eggs, milk, dried fruits such as peanuts or walnuts and any other specific type.

In fact, any food can trigger an allergic reaction. It is enough for our immune system to identify it as a foreign substance to understand that it must protect the body, causing the symptoms that usually occur when you have an allergy to a certain food.

What symptoms does a food allergy produce?

The most common symptoms or signs are the following:

  • Respiratory symptoms:  Nasal congestion, runny nose, asthma or shortness of breath, sneezing and wheezing. Other respiratory disorders can also arise.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms:  Diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, abdominal bloating, nausea and vomiting.
  • Cutaneous (skin) symptoms:  Hives, redness of the skin or rashes, pruritus (itching), eczema, swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, throat and / or face.

In more serious cases, systemic symptoms can also occur, such as anaphylactic shock, which consists of a severe generalized shock that, if not treated quickly, can cause death.  Symptoms that accompany anaphylactic shock include headache, breath sounds, mental agitation and confusion, shortness of breath, dizziness, and increased sweating.

What to do in case of an allergic reaction to a food?

If symptoms related to an allergic reaction occur after having eaten a certain food, it is advisable to go quickly to the emergency room. Most likely, most symptoms do not require any treatment, disappearing in a short time. In this sense, for example, antihistamines are the drugs of choice in these cases, as they can alleviate the discomfort caused by the allergic reaction.

Special attention should be paid to the most serious reactions or when symptoms appear throughout the body (as for example, it could be the case of urticaria), since it is necessary to go to the emergency room more quickly to apply the appropriate medical treatment more quickly.

However, if you suspect that you may be suffering from a certain allergy to a food, it is best to go to the allergist, who is the medical allergy specialist, who may or may not diagnose the possible existence of a food allergy.

Why does a food allergy occur?

The immune response of our body protects the organism against substances that are actually potentially and highly harmful, as for example it could be the case of viruses or bacteria. Thus, when an element of this type enters the body and begins to multiply, the immune system is activated and causes a series of symptoms and substances in order to fight infection.

The same thing happens when the immune system is faced with foreign substances, known as allergens. However, these substances are generally harmless, which means that they do not cause inconvenience or problems for most people.

However, when you have an allergy to a certain allergen present in a food, the immune system’s response becomes hypersensitive , which means that just when the body recognizes the presence of said allergen, its response is triggered. Releasing histamines, which are the main “culprits” of allergy symptoms.


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