More than 50 million Americans have some sort of allergy. Most likely, you either know or are one of those individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between four and six percent of children and four percent of adults have food allergies.
- In the United States, eight common foods account for almost 90 percent of food allergy reactions.
- These foods are collectively referred to as "The Big 9" and consist of milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, and soy.
- More than 160 foods have been associated with food allergy reactions although these eight are the most often allergenic ones.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is an immune system response that occurs in response to consuming certain foods.
- Foods that cause allergies might cause signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, rashes, or swollen airways with even a small quantity of exposure.
- A food allergy may, in some cases, result in severe symptoms or even the potentially fatal reaction known as anaphylaxis.
- It is simple to mistake a food allergy with the considerably more typical reaction known as food intolerance.
- Food intolerance is a bothersome but less serious condition that does not affect the immune system.
When to visit the doctor
If you experience food allergy symptoms soon after eating, consult an allergist or medical professional. If possible, visit your doctor while the allergic response is occurring. This will facilitate diagnosis by your healthcare physician.
If someone experiences any signs of severe or anaphylactic reactions, including the following, seek immediate medical attention:
8 common foods responsible for allergies
Although many foods may cause food allergies, eight specific food groups account for over 90 percent of all reactions, which include:
- Milk: Food allergies in newborns and young children are most frequently caused by cow's milk.
- Although the majority of kids outgrow their allergy to milk, it's one of the most widespread food allergies among adults.
- About 70 percent of kids with cow milk allergies may consume baked cow milk. The term "baked milk" refers to milk that has been warmed to a high temperature in a way that has disrupted the structure of the proteins that cause cow milk allergies.
- Young children who have a fresh milk allergy but can consume baked milk without reacting may be more likely to outgrow their allergy to milk quicker than young children who experience a reaction to baked milk.
- Egg: The allergy to hen's eggs is one of the most prevalent allergies in infants and young children, but it is less prevalent in older children and adults.
- Although most kids outgrow their egg allergies eventually (71 percent by the age of six years), some people do so for the rest of their life.
- About 70 percent of kids who are allergic to eggs can eat baked eggs. Heating alters the protein responsible for an egg allergy.
- Over time, a person's egg allergy may be resolved or become tolerable with the regular and safe consumption of baked egg items. Before experimenting with baked egg items at home, consult your allergist.
- Peanut: The third-most frequent food allergy in adults is peanut allergy, which is the most prevalent food allergy in children younger than 18 years.
- Most people with peanut allergies live with the problem for their entire lives. Only 20 percent of them eventually outgrow it.
- It is the only food allergy for which a drug (Palforzia) has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other therapeutic methods, such as peanut oral immunotherapy, are now being used to increase a person's tolerance to the peanut protein although they are not approved by the FDA.
- Soy: About 0.4 percent of infants in the United States have a soy allergy, which is more common in young children and infants than in older children. Although most kids eventually overcome their soy allergies, some people have lifelong soy intolerances or allergies.
- Wheat: Up to one percent of kids in the United States may have a wheat allergy, with young children being the most frequently reported. According to one study, two-thirds of kids with wheat allergies outgrow them by the age of 12 years. Nevertheless, some people never fully recover from their wheat allergies.
- Tree nut: One of the most prevalent food allergies in both children and adults is a nut allergy.
- Walnut, almond, hazelnut, pecan, cashew, and pistachio allergies are the six tree nut allergies that both children and adults most frequently report being allergic to.
- A youngster who is allergic to one tree nut is likely to be allergic to another tree nut in about 50 percent of cases.
- Pistachio or pecan will cause reactions in about two-thirds of people who are sensitive to cashew or walnut, respectively.
- Many children with allergies to one or more types of tree nuts do not outgrow their allergies.
- Fish: With a prevalence of one percent among Americans, finned fish is one of the most prevalent food allergies. In one study, people most frequently reported adverse responses to fish such as cod, salmon, tuna, and catfish.
- Shellfish: The most prevalent food allergy in adults and one of the most prevalent in kids is a shellfish allergy. In the United States, two percent of people claim to be allergic to shellfish. Allergies to shellfish are typically permanent.
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