Best Allergy Sites

A food allergy is defined as an immune system response. If you have a food allergy, your body’s immune system mistakenly recognizes a food protein, or allergen, as an invader and produces antibodies to fight it in an attempt to "protect" the body. A chemical called histamine is then released into the bloodstream and acts on the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract and causes symptoms of the allergic reaction.

Food allergy symptoms can vary depending on the severity allergy and the amount of allergen consumed, but can include one or more of the following:

· Tingling in the mouth

· Hives, itching or eczema

· Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body

· Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing

· Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting

· Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

· Anaphylaxis, which is the most severe form of allergic reaction. It can involve swelling of the airway, serious breathing difficulty, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and, in some cases, even death.

Individuals can be allergic to any food. The top 8 most common food allergies in the United States are peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish, which account for nearly 90% of all food allergy reactions.

The best way to stay safe when diagnosed with a food allergy is to strictly avoid consumption of your food allergen. This can be difficult to do, but resources like provides information on how to avoid allergens and valuable resources such as allergy-friendly recipes and reviews on allergy-friendly products and services.

If you are concerned that you might have a food allergy, you should meet with your physician as soon as possible to determine if you need allergy testing.