Food Allergy: “The Big Eight”
“The Big Eight” allergens include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat. The most common example of food allergy is that towards rice in the East Asia where it is a staple food of people.
An exaggerated immune response to any component of food is regarded as food allergy. The signs and symptoms may vary from acute to chronic. Food intolerance and food poisoning are separate conditions and must not be confused with allergies.
Common food allergies include that towards milk, peanuts, eggs, wheat and fruits. 4-8% of the people in the developed world suffer from at least one type of food allergy and the males are affected more than the females. They are more common among children.
“The Big Eight” allergens include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat. The most common example of food allergy is that towards rice in the East Asia where it is a staple food of people. Egg allergies affect almost one in 50 children and the sensitivity is to protein in the white and not to the yolk. Almost 10% of the children who suffer from milk allergy also show sensitivity to meat. This is because the protein present in the milk is also found in the meat, in small amount.
Food allergy and vaccination
Vaccinations have been regarded as one of the most important factor in the development of allergies towards protein in food. The proteins of food may be present in the vaccine and help develop immune response to those proteins. So whenever the recipient will eat the food containing that specific protein, s/he will show sensitivity towards that food.
Allergic reactions are actually the hypersensitive reactions of immune system to a neutral molecule. The immune system recognizes the molecule as foreign, in fact it is not foreign or dangerous, and starts producing antibodies against it, especially IgE (a specific class of antibody). This antibody identifies the food protein as harmful and attach to it, hence initiating an allergic reaction.
The most common symptoms of food allergy include itching, rash, swelling, nausea and vomiting. A condition known as hives is seen in many patients that include a rash and bumpy redness on the skin.
The treatment include complete avoidance to the food causing allergy. If the food is accidentally ingested, a dose of epinephrine is necessary.