Food Allergy is an adverse immune response to food substances, mostly protein. The other adverse responses to food substances like food intolerance, pharmacological reactions and toxin-mediated reactions.
Protein Food Allergy
A protein in the food is the most common allergic causing component. Some of the common and popular food allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Most of the allergies to food become tolerable with time, but peanut and shellfish allergies remain lifelong.
Allergy to peanut is a very severe problem and is very common in children. The anaphylactic reaction to peanuts can be very severe and is dependent on the quantity of peanut consumed and the sensitivity of the reaction. The reaction is triggered by any source of peanut. Even though peanut allergy is considered lifelong, there are very many chances for recent studies. Some of the other unexpected sources of peanuts to be cautious are sauces, sweets, egg rolls, potato pancakes, pet food, specialty pizzas, Asian and Mexican dishes, vegetarian food products, foods that contain extruded sources of peanuts and peanut protein and glazes and marinades.
Milk allergy is yet another common allergy in children that is soon out grown or becomes tolerable with time. The best way to avoid milk in baking products is by replacing with water or fruit juice.
Some of the hidden sources of milk are deli meat slicers, canned tuna fish and casein, many non-dairy products may contain casein, meats and food from restaurants may have butted as an ingredient that is a source of dairy product. Other sources of milk like goat milk are not a safe alternative, rather soy milk may be considered if there is no allergy to soy and soy products. There are other products like rice milk, which is much more harmless and milk-free formulas and milk protein free formulas.
Seafood allergy could be for fish and shellfish allergy. Some of the common fish that are allergic are salmon, tuna and halibut, while allergy to shellfish will be against shrimp, crab and lobster. Shellfish allergy is life long while, fish allergy though is often considered lifelong, many cases of tolerance have been observed, including me.
Egg allergy is a very common in children, and is quite different from other anaphylactic reactions, as is mediated by IgE antibodies, and is known as IgE-mediated reactions. For those with egg allergy, extra care is to be taken, while other sources of food that can contain egg are pasta, pretzels, and many others. Administration of MMR vaccines that is developed from egg sources are to as per prescribed standards.
Wheat allergy, especially to the gluten in the wheat is similar to egg allergy as is mediated by IgE-mediated responses and is different from celiac disease wherein those with wheat allergy is not lifelong unlike celiac disease. Soy allergy is one of the most common food allergies that are common in babies and children.
Food intolerance is different from food allergy as is mostly lifelong and the inflammatory response appears as a chronic reaction due to residual effect of the allergic substances that get in touch with immune system like asthma and allergy.
This is very difficult to identify allergy to food intolerance. A person’s tolerance to food is not very clear and hence is difficult to design an effective and reliable test. There are many commercially available kits, each measuring the tolerance of the food to a range of varieties.
Food Intolerance Tests
The most simple and the effective way to diagnose intolerance to food is by removing each food from the diet and identify the allergic food substance, or do this vice versa, by starting from the least allergic food like rice to other food products one after the other, until the allergic food causes problems.
Otherwise, the routine test in the lab is by testing the intolerance for food by a simple blood test. The blood test measures the amount of antibodies developed against the allergic food substance that will determine the most quickly and appropriately for the specific food present.
The food tests that are classified are for meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs/spices, grains, dairy and others. The best way to do the testing is by using a blood collection kit that does everything with a single pinprick. If the food substances show strongly positive, mildly positive and insignificant, then the food substances are removed from the food list, eliminated them and are necessary to modify them. If you think that you could have turned out to be intolerable to food substances after following the new diet, is good to go for another test after twelve months.
Common Food Intolerance Tests
Some of the other common food intolerance tests that are commercially available are ImuPro and many other commercially available food intolerance test kits that mostly tests the blood for food acceptance.