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Food Allergy

What is food allergy?

Did you know that something as simple as eating a certain food can trigger a life-threatening reaction in some people? Food allergies occur when the body releases histamines and mast cells in response to specific food proteins, causing allergic reactions that can vary from mild to severe. And when the reaction is severe, it’s called anaphylaxis – a scary and potentially deadly experience. It’s important to take food allergies seriously and be aware of the potentially life-threatening consequences.

What are common food allergies?

The FDA recognizes nine common food allergies and requires these allergens to be listed on labels. While these are the nine most common, there are other allergens that may impact you or your child.

Peanuts are a common food allergy
Peanuts
Tree nuts are a common food allergy
Tree Nuts
Milk are a common food allergy
Milk
Eggs are a common food allergy
Egg
Shellfish are a common food allergy
Shellfish
Finned fish are a common food allergy
Finned Fish
Wheat is a common food allergy
Wheat
Soy is a common food allergy
Soy
Sesame is a common food allergy
Sesame

What is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

Simply put, a food allergy can quickly turn deadly while a food intolerance is not. An allergic reaction causes chemicals to be released in the body that cause mild to severe reactions. A food intolerance is when the body typically has an auto-immune response – like Celiac Disease – or when it is lacking a way to break down parts of food – like lactose intolerance. While food intolerances can be very painful and cause long-term health impacts, only food allergy require the life-saving medication of epi.

What are the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction?

While many people think that hives are the main sign of an allergic reaction – especially anaphylaxis – there are actually a lot of different signs and symptoms. Allergies can impact many different body systems! 

Skin symptoms of anaphylaxis
Skin
Gastrointestinal symptoms of anaphylaxis
Gastrointestinal
Circulatory symptoms of anaphylaxis
Circulatory
Respiratory symptoms of anaphylaxis
Respiratory
Neurological & behavioral symptoms of anaphylaxis
Neurological & Behavioral

More Information About Allergy

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Code Ana’s Partners and Supporters

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction and can be deadly! While signs like hives and swelling can be uncomfortable, a drop in blood pressure and the release of bronchoconstrictors is what makes the reactions dangerous. Epinephrine is the only way to stop these! To learn more about anaphylaxis, check out our page all about it!

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