5 Essential Facts About Food Allergies

Important Things to Know About Food Allergies

•They can develop at any life stage
•They cannot be cured
•They can manifest themselves in different ways
•They can be deadly
•They are becoming more common

The antibodies produced by the body against what it perceives as pathogens can have devastating consequences. The offending molecules in the applicable food are harmless, but the body doesn’t think so.

Any Time

Most allergies develop in childhood, but they can occur at any time. This is often quite disconcerting because the brand-new sufferers don’t realize the allergy until it’s too late. For example, someone who loves clam chowder suddenly eats some and has a violent reaction that requires emergency treatment and then hospitalization. If you have a reaction to something you ate that seems “just not right,” seek medical attention immediately. It might be much ado about nothing, but it also might mean your life.

No Cure

Although there is no cure for these allergies, there is promising research into one. Until that research comes to fruition, however, those who suffer have no recourse other than to control the allergy. The best way to do that is to avoid the applicable foods entirely. If there happens to be an accident, then epinephrine is the only proven way to combat the reaction. It is also true that allergies can disappear on their own as quickly as they appear and even recur later.

Different Manifestations

A food allergy can affect the body in more than one way. Everyone is familiar with the swelling and respiratory distress associated with a peanut allergy. Not everyone, however, realizes that stomach discomfort might also be an allergic reaction. Certain allergies can also result in hives, gastrointestinal bleeding, and even heart failure. Many allergies also have mild effects, such as slight fever or itching. It’s never wise to ignore anything you might think is an allergic reaction. Use this mantra: When in doubt, check it out.

Deadly Consequences

Food allergies are not a joke. Even with medical intervention, they can be deadly. You always have to be on guard. Something as simple as negligence or a food mix-up can be disastrous. It’s worse when someone thinks it’s funny to put something allergic into a sufferer’s food. Certain young people are even using a food allergy as a bullying tactic. None of these is acceptable. These allergies can kill: period.

Read: 10 Worst Food Contamination Incidents Ever

More and More Common

Why is it that so many more people have these allergies today than did even as few as 40 years ago? The answer might surprise you. The Western world is “too clean.” There is a new theory that, because of the hygienic concerns of Western society, children and adults are exposed to fewer germs and other compounds that might build up antibodies slowly and safely in the body. One way to combat this is to introduce certain products early enough in the life of an infant, such as peanuts. Doing so reduces the chance of a peanut allergy later.


Food allergies are serious business. Although they cannot be cured yet, they can, however, be controlled. It’s always wise, too, to consult with medical professionals and to do your own research regarding such allergies if you suspect you have one or more of them.