When a person has an allergic attack to food, their bodies are pumping out antibodies to kill off what their immune system believes is a bad invader, ranked equally to that of a toxin, bacteria or virus. Their body reacts further by releasing histamines which cause a number of noticeable symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening. However, not everyone develops food allergies at a young age, as some appear later in life. Some people may have no idea that they are having a reaction and live with mild symptoms for years. Others might be so ill that without emergency care, they could die. Therefore, everyone who has symptoms of food allergies should consult with their doctors for testing, and if those symptoms are severe, get to an emergency room ASAP. However, not everyone gets all of the symptoms with the same severity.
After the body has begun releasing the histamines, more reactions and responses take place. The body’s systems can be affected. The digestive system can become gassy and hurt. The blood pressure may rise as the body goes into shock. Or, the person might simply have a mild sneeze or runny nose. Most symptoms will appear within minutes or a couple of hours of food consumption. In rare, cases, the reaction may not appear for up to eight hours. These may be isolated to the skin, the digestive system, the respiratory system or elsewhere. They might even affect the entire body.
Skin Food Allergic Reaction Symptoms
Food allergic reactions might affect the skin. These symptoms can include hives, swelling, flushing, redness, dermatitis, scaly rashes, itchiness, big red and itchy pink rashes.
Digestive System Food Allergic Reaction Symptoms
Food allergic reactions can sometimes affect the digestive system, including the stomach, intestines and bowels. Some people might only get stomach pains, whilst others may have nausea and vomit. Others could have intestinal or bowel cramping, excessive gas that takes time to be released, flatulence and/or diarrhea.
Respiratory System Food Allergic Reaction Symptoms
Respiratory system reactions with food allergies can be mild to life threatening and should not be taken lightly. It is important to keep a close eye on these symptoms in case they get worse, which may point to a severe or anaphylaxis reaction. These can include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Severe or Anaphylaxis/Life-Threatening Food Allergic Reaction Symptoms
Anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction will know that the body goes into dangerous shock. This can include more than one set of reactive symptoms, including those of the skin, respiratory system and digestive system. Other combinations might combine or at the very worst, the allergy sufferer may get both cardiovascular (high blood pressure, heart palpitations, cardiac arrest, etc.) and respiratory type symptoms. All of these shock reactions are severe versions of the normal food allergy symptoms and can kill the person if they do not get emergency care immediately. Each year, in the US, approximately one hundred and fifty people die from severe food allergies. Primary symptoms include itch skin, spreading rashes, impeded and/or severe breathing and swallowing problems, lowered blood pressure, increased heart rate and unconsciousness.
Food Allergy Symptoms or Something Else?
Food allergies are not as common as those to hay or grass. Sometimes other illnesses or diseases can mimic food allergy symptoms. In other cases, eating in under an hour before exercising can trigger histamine responses, underlying psychological issues may exist, or food combinations may be at fault. That is why it is essential to get an allergy specialist and doctor to test for allergies, not assume anything. By ignoring the symptoms, potential allergy sufferers might get worse, or existing illnesses with similar symptoms might be overlooked.