Milk, peanuts, and tree nuts are among the most common food allergies, but the list extends to tree nuts, egg, milk, sesame, soy, wheat, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, and lupin.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — There are many types of food allergies, but some of the most common are milk, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, soy, wheat, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, and lupin.
- The steps outlined below, in some cases, maybe sufficient to help reduce the likelihood of exposure to food allergens. Continue reading for more information.
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Food allergies can have a big impact on the lives of people who have them, as they can suffer from life-threatening reactions if they eat a certain food.
But they can also affect daily lives and have the potential to cause stress for family members.
Some people experience severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, which makes their airways swell, causing them to gasp and go into shock.
They may also experience dizziness, stomach cramps, a rash, severe swelling of the tongue, and a lack of breathability in the mouth.
How common are food allergies?
Up to 20 million Americans, or around 7.4 per cent of the population, have a food allergy. This includes a large proportion of adults and children.
In the UK, an estimated 1.4 per cent of children have a food allergy.
Anaphylaxis is the most severe and potentially fatal reaction to food allergies. However, many people who experience anaphylaxis have not experienced a full life-threatening allergic reaction.
Food allergies are more common in adults than children, with up to 40 per cent of adults in the United States and 25 per cent in the United Kingdom having at least one food allergy.
Can you avoid allergen foods?
Avoiding allergen foods can help reduce symptoms of an allergic reaction. A person can avoid eating certain foods, including some common allergens.
The best way to do this is to carry an epinephrine injector pen and an epinephrine autoinjector, which are both medical devices used to treat anaphylaxis.
People should also inform their healthcare provider of the foods they are allergic to and their medical history.
The steps listed below may be sufficient in preventing exposure to food allergens in some cases, and you can continue reading to find out more about this.
1. Keep the food allergens out of reach.
If the food allergen is potentially inedible, or something that can be prepared at home, it can be put away or frozen for safekeeping.
People who have a severe reaction can still eat or drink the food but will have to go slowly and slowly reintroduce it to their diet. The patient should avoid driving or exercising until they have been through the allergy-free cycle.
It can also be a good idea to have some foods on hand that are known to be safe for the person, such as gluten-free items or products from an allergen-free farm.
2. Eat foods that the person can tolerate.
For some people, avoidance of certain foods can be hard. For example, if someone has a peanut allergy, they should always carry an epinephrine injector pen.
However, there are foods that a person can eat that will still satisfy their dietary needs. For example, people with celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder, can eat certain foods but cannot digest gluten.
Some people who are sensitive to dairy also need to avoid cheese, ice cream and other dairy products.
Other common foods to avoid because they are highly allergenic include egg whites and shellfish, which can cause an allergic reaction.
3. Practice safe storage.
When it comes to foods that are not potentially dangerous to people with food allergies, there are many practical ways to store them properly.
It is important to keep certain foods in a freezer or refrigerator, if possible, to preserve them. Avoid keeping dairy or gluten-containing foods in the same cabinet or refrigerator as other food items, as it can be difficult to know the cross-contamination risk.
Foods that are not potentially dangerous to people with food allergies should be kept in separate areas from other foods, as well as covered and stored properly.
4. Avoid cross-contact.
Some people with food allergies also have allergies to other environmental substances. This can cause additional symptoms to occur that are not related to the food allergy.
When a person with food allergies uses an elevator or public transportation, they should wash their hands and use hand sanitiser before and after to keep the cross-contamination of the most common allergens to a minimum.
In addition, it can help to keep the home away from other triggers as much as possible. If a person with allergies has to come home to a house where there is possible allergen exposure, they should take the steps to ensure that their home is safe and does not create a problem.
5. Wash hands and surfaces often.
Another way that a person with a food allergy can avoid cross-contact with other people and objects that may contain allergens is to wash their hands regularly.
People can use hand sanitizer to wash their hands, or they can use a paper towel or cloth to blot their hands. Using these measures can help to minimize cross-contact and protect them from an allergic reaction.
6. Stay away from substances that may be released.
Toxic products may also be released into the air in buildings, such as cleaning products, paint, and cleaning cloths.
Before entering a building, a person with a food allergy should ensure that the property has been cleaned or is being cleaned.
7. Avoid sharing food.
It may be tempting to share food with others, but this is not always a good idea for a person with a food allergy. This is especially true if someone is sharing foods that contain allergens.
For example, eating a piece of toast or a cookie with someone else who has an allergy to milk is not a good idea.
8. Always have food in a container or a different area.
It is possible that a person with a food allergy could be accidentally exposed to a food product. This can happen while traveling, when they are in the shower or in the bathroom, or when they are hanging out with someone with a food allergy.
To avoid accidentally consuming food, it is important to always keep food in a different place from where it is being eaten. This will prevent cross-contamination.
9. Keep allergy information up to date.
If a person has a severe allergy to a particular food, they should always keep up-to-date with any changes in the food that they are allergic to.
Consult a doctor or allergist if a person has any of the common food allergies listed above and is unsure if they have become worse. They may be able to help to prevent symptoms and possible allergic reactions.
10. Keep pets at a distance.
Some pets can carry allergens and this can cause an allergic reaction in people who have a food allergy. It is essential that a person with a food allergy remains as far away from their pet as possible if they are visiting another person or home.
11. Have allergy-friendly foods on hand.
Pets and people with food allergies can eat in different ways. For example, people with food allergies may prefer to avoid eating food in the same way as a pet.
When dining with others, it is also important to consider what they will be eating and serve items that are allergy-friendly.
12. Consider allergy-friendly activities.
It is important for people with a food allergy to participate in activities that are allergy-friendly.
For example, it is better for a person with a severe food allergy to participate in a class or a game that involves a lot of touching of other people’s food and may cause an allergic reaction.
Risks of exposures
There are also certain risks that people with a food allergy face when they go out in public.
Mildly allergic people with a history of a severe allergic reactions may have difficulty in certain settings or circumstances.
People who have had a severe reaction to food may have an allergic reaction again, which may be worse the next time they are in the same place.
A person with a severe allergy may require emergency care or the immediate assistance of emergency services.
What to do if someone has an allergic reaction
The most important thing for a person with a severe allergy to do is to immediately contact emergency services and get them to help.
A severe allergic reaction may cause swelling, hives, and dizziness. In severe cases, it may lead to anaphylactic shock.
People with a severe allergic reaction may also experience symptoms of anaphylaxis. This is a more serious reaction and requires immediate medical attention.
It is important that a person with a severe food allergy is not aggressive towards others. Some people may misinterpret a reaction as being aggressive when it is actually a reaction to the food.
A person with a severe food allergy should follow the following steps for any emergency:
- Call for emergency services. Provide the emergency services with information about the allergy, including the type of allergy and the type of allergen.
- If the allergy is mild, people may not need to provide information.
- Do not say anything inappropriate or illegal. You may not want to risk the response of the emergency services.
If a severe allergic reaction is necessary, people should:
- Wait for emergency services.
- Arrive in the emergency room or call an ambulance immediately.
- Stay calm and do not change your behavior.
Remove any contact from your mouth and nose, including clothes, jewellery, and shoes.
Wash or wash with soap any areas of the body that may have come into contact with the allergen. This can help wash away bacteria or contaminants.
Apply heat or take antihistamines.
Take epinephrine if an emergency room staff does not have any epinephrine. Epinephrine is a medication used to rapidly treat the allergic reaction or provoke a less severe allergic reaction.
Although we strive to provide accurate information about the most common food allergies, it is always possible to make an error. If you find any inaccurate or incomplete info, please comment below.