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Food allergy it is accepted to call manifestation of various allergic reactions to usual harmless food or certain ingredients which are used in the course of cooking. A certain type of products can contain many allergens. Generally the organism sharply reacts to proteins, is more rare – on carbohydrates and fats. If at the person allergic reaction is shown, his immune system produces too large number of antibodies. As a result the organism perceives harmless proteins as the infectious agent.
True food allergy very seldom occurs among the population – about two percent of people have it. Food allergy at children, as a rule, takes place at first after the birth. As a rule, several years of its manifestation later disappear. At the same time at most of the adult patients considering that they have food allergy the so-called "food pseudo-allergy" is shown. Though signs of such state are similar to an allergy, actually the intolerance of food takes place. There are also cases when at the person who is convinced that a certain food for him – allergen, the corresponding psychosomatic reaction develops.
Reasons of food allergy
Speaking about the allergy reasons, it should be noted a hereditary factor surely. It is important to consider that if one of parents is sick with an allergy, then the risk of development of this state in the child increases twice. Therefore, higher is the risk of development of an allergy in those children whose both parents are sick with an allergy. But at the same time not always for the child the same substances, as for parents will be allergens. Also high risk to ache with an allergy is observed at those people in whose families there are cases of asthma, hay fever, eczema.
Food allergy at children and adults can develop practically on any product. However there is a number of products which most often cause allergic reactions. In this list it should be noted eggs, milk, fish, seafood, soy, nuts, etc. Therefore by the person inclined to similar reactions the diet at food allergy has to be kept strictly.
At people the so-called cross allergy can sometimes develop. Similar reaction follows after reaction to a certain allergen. For example, the people having an allergy to fish can normally cease to perceive seafood over time.
Symptoms of food allergy
As a rule, at the person of whom food allergy is characteristic symptoms of a disease are shown for the period of several minutes till two o'clock after he ate food with allergen. However people at whom the severe form of an allergy is observed can feel displays of a disease at once after a touch or feeling of a smell of such product.
At food allergy symptoms of an illness are generally expressed by hypostases and display of an itch of lips, throats, a mouth. If the food with allergen appears in the alimentary system, it can provoke vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, display of intestinal gripes. At food allergy also eczema, urticaria, redness of skin is shown. Some people in development of allergic reactions suffer and from allergic rhinitis at which the patient is overcome by cold, cough, shallow breathing is shown. Also the person at manifestation of allergic reaction can feel the gushed drowsiness and feeling of absent-mindedness.
In certain cases perhaps also emergence of otstrochenny allergic reaction. At such form of allergic reaction after the person used allergen, there can pass both several hours, and several days. If to compare symptoms of otstrochenny reaction to displays of an immediate allergy, then here symptoms can be not so pronounced. At the patient eczema, urticaria, asthma can be shown.
The most serious symptom of food allergy is the acute anaphylaxis. This state arises if allergic reaction covers several bodies and even systems. The acute anaphylaxis arises rather seldom, however such state is very life-threatening the person. At this state at the patient the small tortoiseshell, perspiration, a severe itch is shown. At the person the mucous membrane of a throat swells, breath is at a loss, arterial pressure sharply decreases. At this form of food allergy the patient needs to provide treatment as soon as possible. In the absence of the correct and timely therapy the loss of consciousness, and even a lethal outcome is possible.
Diagnosis of food allergy
Diagnosis is carried out in this case by the specialist allergist. He conducts detailed survey of the patient, analyzes his case history, appoints necessary inspections. In the course of inspection the doctor can ask the list of those products on which it observed allergic reaction for the patient.
In the course of establishment of the diagnosis carrying out skin scarifying test which allows to define whether a certain product is allergen for the person is applied. For receiving more exact results carry out special laboratory blood test: radioallergosorbent test, enzyme immunoassay, research of antibodies.
As a rule, such researches allow to define potentially dangerous allergens. But in certain cases the doctor can also appoint carrying out provocative tests at which allergen is entered to the patient into a nose, under language. After that reaction of the patient is estimated. However such tests carry out only under control of the doctor as the urgent help can be necessary.
Treatment of food allergy
If true food allergy was diagnosed for the person, treatment, first of all, will consist in strict following to a special diet. It has to exclude allergen presence completely. Throughout some time the patient has to follow strictly the hypoallergenic diet including only those products which do not provoke allergic reactions. Several weeks later it is possible to try to enter allergen into a diet. But at repeated development of food allergy the hypoallergenic diet needs to be continued again.
Observance of a so-called eliminative diet (that is the diet excluding allergenic products) needs to be begun only after consultation with the experienced doctor. The food allowance has to be various, and the person at the same time needs to receive all the nutrients and vitamins, necessary for an organism. Therefore, the products causing an allergy need to be replaced with others, equivalent on the content of useful substances.
The diet at food allergy very often helps to overcome this illness completely. However there are some products on which at people the lifelong allergy develops.
Thus, at food allergy the most effective method of overcoming of this state is definition of a food-borne allergen and its further avoidance.
At treatment of an allergy it is important to consider also that fact that if the person has asthma, then the risk of serious effects from allergic reaction increases. Therefore such patients should have constantly at themselves a dose of Epinephrinum (adrenaline) which needs to be accepted if allergic reaction happened.
If the person nevertheless used a product which is for it allergen, then in that case it is necessary to accept the corresponding drugs. If easy reaction to allergen takes place, then it can be stopped by means of antihistaminic medicines. At acute food allergy perhaps simultaneous treatment by Epinephrinum and antihistamine. Epinephrinum injection effectively eliminates allergic reaction.
Food allergy at children
Food allergy is much more often shown at children. At the same time food allergy at babies in process of their growing in most cases gradually passes. So, allergic reaction to milk, eggs, soy, wheat the child generally "outgrows": its manifestations disappear to its five-year age. And here the allergy to nuts, fish, seafood can remain for the rest of life.
Except a hereditary favor at the baby initial artificial feeding of the kid or the termination of feeding by a breast in the first months of his life can provoke an allergy. Recently very often at children the allergy to soy which is often used as an additive to different products is shown.
Mothers who nurse the child in order to avoid allergic reactions at the kid have to eat only hypoallergenic products. It is especially important to adhere to such diet at first after the birth of the kid. It is necessary to exclude a radish, onions, garlic, broths, smoked dishes, hot spices from a diet of the feeding mother. Carefully it is necessary to treat also dairy products from which it is desirable to use only sour-milk.
Symptoms of an allergy to food at children are similar to such manifestations at adults. But it happens that allergic reactions to foodstuff provoke emergence at the child of vomiting and a diarrhea. As a result, it grows more slowly and develops. Therefore if food allergy about one year causes similar symptoms in children, it is necessary to show the child to the doctor surely immediately.
With tendency to an allergy at the child it is necessary to adhere to some recommendations for avoiding of undesirable reactions. In order to avoid food allergy at children about one year parents have to enter new food into the menu of the kid gradually, on one product once for five days and to monitor its reaction. The portion of a new dish needs to be increased gradually, since very small. The chest kid can offer initially a half of a teaspoon of a new product. At emergence of allergic reaction the product needs to be excluded from the menu of the kid and to consult with the doctor.
Doctors advise to avoid the fruit having bright coloring. For example, red apples can be replaced yellow and green. In the presence of negative perception of eggs they can be replaced with quail. The most preferable fat is vegetable oil.
Food allergy at the child can be shown also on components of products – dyes, food additives which are as a part of many food stuffs. In this case inspection can be necessary for allergen definition.
If the child of more advanced age has an allergy to a certain foodstuff, parents should inform surely on it employees of child care facility – a kindergarten or school. They have to be aware of how to stop allergic reaction, hardly the child nevertheless will mistakenly use allergen.
Prevention of food allergy
Preventive measures are very important for people who are in risk group, that is those at which family cases of food allergy were noted. It is necessary to treat very carefully new food and to watch how the organism will react to it. Therefore it is the best of all to try food in very small portions and if the person to be in an unfamiliar situation, then it is better to refuse new food in general.
It is not less important to study carefully the structure of products specified on labels. Among such ingredients there can quite be allergens. To the people inclined to food allergy, it is not necessary to use stale products. Canned food — also not the best food for allergic persons. Thus, food of the people inclined to an allergy has to be thought most over and at the same time careful control of structure of products is necessary.