Food allergies occur because of an improperly working immune system. Certain proteins that are introduced into the body through food are falsely recognized by the immune system as dangerous substances. The proteins that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens. When allergens are detected, the immune system directs the body’s cells to start producing immunoglobulin antibodies to try and fight and destroy what is usually a harmless, or even nutritious, protein. Once the antibodies are produced they stay in the body for long periods of time that range from several years to the rest of your life. When the allergen is reintroduced into the body, the antibodies trigger the release of histamines and other chemicals that cause the symptoms of the allergy. Common symptoms of allergies include runny nose, itching eyes, sore throat, hives, rashes, and diarrhea. In some instances more severe symptoms are produced, such as nausea, fainting, difficulty breathing, and anaphylactic shock. If not immediately treated, anaphylactic shock leads to death.
Some foods seem to produce more allergies than other foods. Foods that have the highest rates of allergic reactions are shellfish, fish eggs, peanuts, and true nuts. Also, children are more susceptible to food allergies than are adults. Children often lose the allergy as they mature. It is theorized that the high rate of allergies in children is due to the immune system being not yet fully developed.
Food allergies are not be mistaken for food intolerance or other conditions of the digestive system. Most food allergies do not cause digestive problems. If a problem with digestion occur, it is most likely due to something other than allergy, such as IBS, food poisoning, lack of enzymes, stress, heartburn, or acid reflux.
The exact cause of why some immune systems see certain proteins as allergens has not been determined by medical science. However, several theories exist as to the reason. One theory insists allergies are caused by vaccines we receive as children. No scientific studies support this theory. Another theory says food allergies come from exposing babies to foods before their systems can support digestion of the food. Another leading theory suggests that allergies occur due to over cleanliness. This is why allergies are more prevalent in developed countries. Too much cleaning has eliminated many of the bacteria that our body needs to develop a strong immune system.
Posted 3695 day ago