Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food Safety - Part 4 - Food Related Allergies

Food allergies in humans are caused by your body’s immune system response to different kinds food proteins. For some people, these symptoms and conditions are mild and are more of a nuisance than anything else. In some cases though, the symptoms and conditions may be severe or life threatening. It is of utmost importance to be aware of these conditions to insure your safety and the safety of your family.

Common Symptoms Caused by Food Allergies

1.) Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps

2.) Diarrhea

3.) Excessive sweating

4.) Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing (or a combination of both)

5.) Extremely high or excessively low blood pressure

6.) A tingling sensation in the mouth

7.) Swelling of the tongue and throat passages

8.) Allergic skin reactions which may include eczema, hives, or an itchy feeling

Common Foods That Cause Allergic Reactions

Food allergies affect people of all ages. Four to six times as many children have food allergies as adults. There are eight specific types of foods that are responsible for almost 90 percent of all food-related allergies in humans. These are fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, and wheat and soy products. While some of these foods are more responsible for allergic reactions in adults than children; people of all ages may have allergic reactions to the same foods.

Four of these foods among the eight are responsible for most of the food-related allergic reactions in adults. The major ones affecting adults are fish, shellfish, nuts and peanuts. Peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat and soy products cause the majority of food-related allergies in children.

It is important to remember that the symptoms and conditions are not always the same for all persons with similar food allergies and the severe nature of the symptoms may be different as well. Severe symptoms, such as swelling of the tongue and throat and changes in blood pressure, can lead to an inability to breathe properly. This may result in unconsciousness and death. This extreme level of symptoms is known as anaphylaxis or anaphylaxic shock.

Prompt medical attention in these cases is vital in order to save the person's life. Many people carry an emergency injection of medication (Epi-pen) which is designed to ease these severe symptoms in the event that the protein which causes the allergic reaction is accidentally eaten.

If you have a friend or someone in your family that has a known food allergy, you may need to consider keeping an Epi-pen as a necessary part of your emergency medical supplies.

Staying above the water line!


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails