Food Allergy Relief Options
What Is a Food Allergy?
Food allergy is an IgE immune system’s overactive response tо a particular protein in the trigger food. Food allergy symptoms are most common in babies and children. However, they can appear at any age. You can even develop an allergy to foods you have eaten for years with no problems.
Not everyone who experiences allergy symptoms after consuming certain foods has a food allergy, nor do they need tо completely avoid that particular food. For example, some people may experience an itchy mouth and throat after eating a raw vegetables or fruit. This response tends to occur because the body is unable to differentiate between pollen and similar proteins found in some foods. As a result, the body produces an oral allergy symptom. However, the individual is still able to consume the food in question most times by simply heating the food. This destroys the allergen so the body will no longer have a response and the food can be eaten without problem.
Triggers Which Could Impede Allergy Relief
Eight types of food account for about 90% оf all reactions in both children and adults:
- Tree Nuts
With the following food allergies in only children:
It’s possible for children to outgrow their allergic reactions to eggs and milk. However, peanut and other tree nut allergies are more likely to remain into adulthood.
Thе most common food allergens for adults include:
- peanuts and tree nuts
- fruit and vegetable pollen (oral allergy syndrome)
- shellfish and fish
Symptoms to Watch for When Seeking Allergy Relief
Here at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine (972) 355-0083, we regularly see patients seeking allergy relief. Mild to severe symptoms can occur with a food allergy. It’s also important to understand that the intial reaction may be different from subsequent reactions. Not all food allergy reactions are similar. It’s possible for a food to trigger a mild response on one occasion with progressively worse reactions later on. Symptoms of an allergic reaction could affect the digestive system, the skin, the heart, and lungs. They can surface in one or more of the following ways:
- Vomiting and stomach pain and cramping
- Swelling of the tongue, affecting the ability to talk or breathe
- Tight, hoarse throat; trouble swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- A repetitive cough
- Weak pulse
- Shock or circulatory collapse
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Pale or blue coloring of the skin
- Anaphylaxis: a potentially life-threatening reaction which impairs breathing and can possibly send the body into shock.
It’s also important to realize that allergic reactions can affect different parts of the body at the same time. For example, you may experience a rash and difficulty breathing.
What Are Some Diagnostics To Obtain Allergy Relief?
To make a diagnosis for allergy relief, an allergist from Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine will ask specific questions about both your medical history as well as your symptoms.
- What and how much did you eat?
- How long did it take for symptoms to present?
- What symptoms did you experience and how long did they last?
After answering these questions, your allergist may ask you to undergo skin and blood tests. These indicate whether certain allergents affect your body. This diagnosis includes:
- ALCAT Allergy Testing
Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody Test (ALCAT) measures whole blood leukocyte activity. These identify allergens which cause an increase in the leukocyte activity. The ALCAT is a diagnostic test for food allergies, food intolerance, and chemical sensitivities.
- Skin-Prick Tests
This test provides results in around 20 minutes. Your skin is pricked with a small, sterile probe. This allows the liquid, which contains a small amount of the food allergen, to seep under the skin of your arm or back. This test is considered positive if a mosquito-like bump develops where the allergen was placed. As a control, this is repeated with a liquid which doesn’t contain the allergen. This control test shouldn’t provoke any reaction. It simply allows for a comparison between the two test sites.
- Blood Tests
These are slightly less exact compared to skin tests, however they can be done without the mild discomfort assosciated with skin tests. They measure the amount of IgE antibody to the tested food. Results take about a week to receive and are generally reported using a numerical value.
Your allergists use the results of these tests to make a diagnosis. Keep in mind, positive results does not necessarily indicate that an allergy is present. However, negative results are just as important as they are helpful in ruling out allergies.
What Are Some Allergy Relief Options?
- Acupuncture Treatment
This is a traditional Chinese medicine which can be used to get allergy relief. A Chinese medicine practitioner will select acupuncture points and herbal formulas which support the functioning of the organs, dispersing unhealthy access patterns and nourishing deficiencies. Acupuncture’s goal is to treat both the immediate symptoms and to rebalance the hyperactive immune system, and provide allergy relief.
The principle here is treating the whole person. Often people with chronic allergies show signs of spleen or kidney deficiency as well as lung issues. The goal of the acupuncturist at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine (972) 355-0083 is to develop an allergy relief plan. This plan addresses the person’s acute symptoms and provides relief. It also addresses the underlying immune system and balance which is thought to be at the root of the person’s allergies. Treatment often includes dietary modification as well as acupuncture to give allergy relief.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is an art and a science which takes years to master. This Chinese medicine is a safe and effective way of treating food allergies to give allergy relief.
- Epinephrine (Adrenaline)
This is the safest treatment for anaphylaxis which is a symptom characterized by a life-threatening reaction. Anaphylaxis can impair breathing and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. The allergist should prescribe and epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it for effective allergy relief.
- Strictly Avoiding All Problem Foods
This is a way of managing allergies in order to feel allergy relief.
- Strict Avoidance of Eating Unfamiliar Foods
Avoid eating randomly to prevent coming across overly-spiced food and other food additives. This goes a long way in managing allergies and experiencing allergy relief.