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8 Symptoms of Food Allergies and How You Can Get Rid of Them

mixed nuts in a jarThere is a growing epidemic occurring in our country that is causing our bodies to react negatively to the food we eat – even if it’s healthy. According to a 2017 study, about 4% of American adults suffer from food allergies, and more than 170 foods have been reported to cause reactions in the country. Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are growing at an alarming rate as well; it’s speculated that between 15 and 20% of Americans suffer from food intolerances and sensitivities. While there are major differences between food allergies and intolerance or sensitivities, each involves an imbalanced immune system that reacts inappropriately to food. Learn more about what food allergies are, which symptoms you may experience if you have food allergies, and how you can get rid of them:

What Are Food Allergies?

A food allergy occurs when the immune system immediately and severely reacts to proteins (allergens) in a particular food. In an immediate, hypersensitive reaction, the body releases histamine, which can often lead to a variety of symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to nearly fatal. Food allergies are most prominent in babies and children; however, they can appear at any age. You can even develop an allergy to foods you’ve eaten and enjoyed without any issue for years.

Why Are Food Allergies on the Rise?

While there isn’t one definite cause for the rise in food allergies, there are several factors that can be pinpointed as being part of the problem, especially widespread misunderstanding in how our bodies digest and use what we consume. These are the biggest culprits to emerging and growing food allergies:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antibacterial soaps and sanitizers
  • Environmental toxins and chemicals
  • Genetically modified food (GMOs)
  • Pesticide usage
  • Food additives
  • Food-borne illnesses and infections
  • Increased prevalence of processed foods
  • Increased occurrence of leaky gut syndrome, particularly during pregnancy and childhood

What Are the Symptoms of Food Allergies?

If you have a food allergy, you usually develop symptoms within a few seconds or minutes after you consume the offending food. The most common symptoms to a food allergy include the following:

  • Abdominal pain or diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis, which is the swelling of airways and having difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hay fever-like symptoms including sneezing or itchy eyes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A raised, itchy red rash (hives). Sometimes the skin can turn red and itchy without a raised rash.
  • Swelling in the face, throat, mouth, or other areas of the body
  • Tingling or itching in the mouth

What Is Anaphylaxis and What Should I Do if It Occurs?

Anaphylaxis (or anaphylactic shock) is a serious, severe, and possibly life-threatening allergic reaction to certain foods. It can happen within seconds or minutes after one is exposed to an offending food and can become worse very quickly. Symptoms of anaphylaxis are often the same as the symptoms listed above and can also lead to the following:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Collapsing
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Swollen tongue
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking

If you or a loved one is possibly experiencing anaphylaxis, dial 911 right away and request an ambulance. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

What Are the Most Common Food Allergies?

While more than 170 foods have been reported to cause negative reactions in the U.S., there are 8 major food allergens that cause serious reactions:

  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat

How Do I Know if I Have a Food Allergy?

Food allergies can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Your body’s reaction to particular foods is largely dependent on your gut’s microbiome status, your unique biochemistry, your lifestyle, and even your stress level. Often, an elimination diet and appropriate lab tests can help pinpoint which foods cause adverse reactions in your body. If you believe you might be suffering from food allergies, you should consult a nutritionist like our qualified staff at The Wellness Connection.

How Can I Get Rid of My Food Allergies?

Healing from food allergies is possible, but it will take some time. Elimination diets like Whole30 can give your gut a much-needed opportunity to heal, restore your microbiome, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Once your gut has had enough time to heal and reaches a more balanced state, you may find that you can reintroduce those once troublesome foods into your diet without experiencing symptoms.

The Wellness Connection Can Help

You don’t have to continue suffering from food allergies. Heal your gut and live the life you deserve by taking the first step toward healing – calling the experts at The Wellness Connection. We take a holistic approach to help you attain optimal health and well-being. Schedule an appointment with us by calling (636) 978-0970 or request a time with us online!

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