What is food allergy?
People get proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and bioactive substances with food. Carbohydrates and fats are not allergens. They can cause food intolerance in people, but the development of allergic manifestations is associated with protein intake. Food allergies - a reaction to food, when along with the external signs of the disease are observed disorders of the immune system. When a protein( antigen) enters the body of a sick person, antibodies are produced that can cause external manifestations.
The immune system of a healthy person does not react to this protein with antibody production. Depending on the nature of the development of the body's reaction to food, there are types:
- true allergic( have an immune character);
Pseudo-allergic reactions can occur after eating foods containing toxic compounds, synthetic food additives. Food intolerance without altering the work of the immune system can occur with:
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- disruption of the biliary system;
- endocrine changes;
- psychological disorders.
- , swelling of the lips and mouth, sometimes the throat;
- itching in the mouth.
After the antigen has entered the digestive system, the following manifestations may occur:
People may have difficulty breathing or allergic rhinitis, which causes nasal mucus and coughing. After absorption of the allergen cleavage products into the blood, changes in the skin can be observed:
- skin itching.
Sometimes an allergic reaction can increase and cover several systems: cause changes in the skin, swelling of the pharyngeal mucosa, difficulty in breathing, and pressure reduction. These signs characterize the complication of the disease - anaphylactic shock. Such a condition is dangerous for the patient, in the absence or untimely help, death can occur.
As manifested in children
It is possible to suspect an allergic reaction in a newborn if you have diaper rash while observing the child's hygiene rules. Food allergies in children are often manifested by changes in the skin. Red skin rashes appear on the face, babies suffer from itching, become restless, sleep poorly. Over time, the spots become covered with crusts and can spread to the arms and torso.
Infrequently, but allergic manifestations occur in a child such as indigestion: vomiting, diarrhea. Rarely, food intolerance in children can cause swelling of the hands, feet, mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, signs of rhinitis, bronchospasm, and difficulty in breathing. This is a dangerous aggravation of the disease, so the child must be immediately shown to the doctor.
A child is more likely than an adult to have a reaction to food. This is due to the imperfections of the children's immune system. In older age, allergic manifestations may disappear. The following causes of food allergies include:
- Increased probability of getting allergic food intolerance is observed in people who already have allergic manifestations( asthma, pollen reaction).
- The development of an allergic reaction to food occurs more often in children whose parents have allergic diseases. Ailment refers to genetic diseases.
- Food should get into the blood in a split form. Cleavage occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. With increased permeability of the intestinal walls or hormonal disorders( absence of the required amount of enzymes), insufficiently etched food gets into the blood, which can cause the formation of antibodies in the body.
- Irregular nutrition leads to impaired gastric secretion and the process of complete breakdown, the emergence of the body's sensitivity to proteins.
- In children, the following factors can affect the formation of allergic reactions:
- mothers use allergens during pregnancy;
- non-compliance by the mother of the diet during breastfeeding;
- translation to artificial nutrition;
- violation of the ratio of the volume of food and the weight of the child.
Food may consist of one or more antigens. Several proteins that cause allergic manifestations are found in milk, eggs, and peanuts. When boiling milk, the allergic properties of proteins are somewhat reduced, and in peanuts during heat treatment, they increase. In eggs, allergens of antigens are higher in protein than in yolks. Often, people have cross-allergy:
For a specific person there is an individual set of antigens. Strong food allergens include:
- fish and seafood;
- soybeans and wheat.
The production of antibodies to certain antigens by the immune system may cease over time, recovery is possible, but the reactions to fish protein and marine life, to peanuts, remain for a lifetime. Allergic manifestations can occur even with the smell of fish. Peanuts and seafood cause manifestations of a disease of high severity: choking attacks, anaphylactic shock. Other products that contain antigens are known:
- red apples;
- pumpkin, melon, watermelon;
- cocoa coffee.
Examination of the patient begins with an external examination and survey. The doctor examines the patient’s and his parents ’history. The presence of reactions to other allergic irritants in a patient or his parents, ancestors, give grounds for the doctor to make a preliminary diagnosis. Complete diagnosis of food allergies includes additional laboratory tests.
To determine treatment methods, a doctor needs to be confident in the diagnosis and identify the main allergen that causes the body’s immune response. The physician may direct the patient to conduct additional examinations:
- cytological examination of smears from the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose to determine the nature of the reaction;
- skin test with a food allergen solution;
- radio allergy test;
- enzyme immunoassay for food allergies;
- specific allergological examination.
Provocative tests provide great reliability, but they can cause an acute course of the disease, so this examination is carried out under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital. Two weeks before the test, the patient is prescribed a diet from which possible allergens are eliminated until the symptoms completely disappear. The mass of the substance that will be injected depends on the weight and age of the patient. In the absence of reaction, the dose is doubled in a day.
To get rid of allergic reactions, you can use a set of measures. Treatment of food allergies in adults includes:
- diet without antigens;
- administration of antihistamines Tavegil, Suprastin and hormonal drugs in the acute form of the disease;
- taking Zyrtek, Ebastine, Claritin for a mild disease;
- sufferers with anaphylactic manifestations prescribed adrenaline for constant wear in the first aid kit;
- treatment of associated diseases, strengthening the immune system.
Treatment in children
To exclude allergic manifestations, the doctor determines the allergens for the child and prescribes a strict diet. In children, reactions to milk, which is a necessary product for a child’s body, are often observed. Sometimes it is possible to avoid allergic manifestations by boiling milk or by prescribing allergen-specific immunotherapy. In the acute stage, antihistamines are prescribed for the treatment of food allergies in children.
Compliance with the proper diet is the main method to prevent the body's reaction to food. It is necessary to carefully study the composition of purchased food products, because allergens may be present as ingredients. Diet for food allergies should include dishes from fresh vegetables, fruits, meat. Pickled, dry, canned products often cause allergic manifestations.
Marina, 45 years old
I was allergic to food, chicken eggs, rashes on my face. It helped to get rid of unpleasant manifestations of a simple tool. She sealed dry nettle with boiling water, insisted and took five days a month. I try not to abuse my favorite product, but sometimes I include it in the menu. Until the rash was not observed.
Denis, 22 years old
Since childhood, I have been allergic to foods, strawberries, raspberries, currants. Berries I love very much and can not resist, so as not to try. A friend recommended steaming and drinking a decoction of a dry mother-and-stepmother. He drank for three days, the emptying disappeared, I don’t think myself. Previously, it took a long time. Hope that next time the decoction will help.
Nadezhda, 28 years old
My son developed a rash on his face, he began scratching them. We went to the doctor, he determined that it was a food allergy in a child. The doctor prescribed enterosgel and recommended a diet. In just three days, the spots on the face of the child began to lighten, but now I see that everything passes. Thanks to the doctor, quickly coped with the disease.
Nutrition provides the human body with the products necessary to support vital processes. Often people are faced with food intolerance. There are cases when, when using a certain product, an adult or a child develops a food allergy. The disease gives many problems to the patient, requires long-term treatment, sometimes for life.