Food Allergies Definition By Medical
Food Allergies definition is allergic reactions that occur as our immune system mistakenly responds to protein derived from food and considers it a threat. One of the allergic reactions that appear can be itching and rash on the skin.
Based on the trigger substances and tenor symptoms, food allergies are divided into three types, namely immunoglobulin E, a non-immunoglobulin E, and a combination of both.
Munoglobulin E is one of the antibody substances present in our immune system. Food allergies triggered by the production of this substance is the most common type of food allergy and the usual symptoms will appear shortly after the patient eats.
As for food allergies triggered by antibody substances other than immunoglobulin E, the duration of the onset of symptoms will take longer or usually hours after the patient eats.
The last type of food allergy is a combination of immunoglobulin E and non-immunoglobulin E. People suffering from this condition will experience the symptoms of both types of food allergies.
Food Allergies Symptoms
Patients with food allergies triggered immunoglobulin E will usually experience symptoms of red rash and itching in the skin, tingling or itching in the oral cavity, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the mouth, face, and other body parts. Rashes in this type of allergy usually appear on the surface of the skin.
In addition to these symptoms, can also occur nausea and vomiting, itchy eyes, sneezing or shortness of breath, dizziness or dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath.
In the case of non-immunoglobulin E food allergies, the main symptoms are actually almost identical to the symptoms of food allergies mediated by immunogbulin E, which is the appearance of itching and rash on the skin. But the difference, the texture of the rash on this type of allergy does not appear to arise. In addition there are experiencing symptoms such as Atopic eczema disease, which is dry skin and cracked, red, and itchy.
Sometimes a non-immunoglobulin E food allergy can cause symptoms as caused by other conditions beyond the allergy, so it may be misdiagnosed. The symptoms include:
- The genital area and the anus appear to be reddish in color.
- The frequency of defecation increases.
- The presence of mucus or blood in the dirt.
- Pale skin.
- Fussy on the baby.
Do not underestimate food allergies because in certain cases can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions. The initial symptoms of anaphylaxis do look like ordinary food allergy symptoms, but in a very quick time, symptoms can worsen and the sufferer may experience the following:
- Difficulty breathing.
- The sudden emergence of anxiety and intense fear.
- A very drastic drop in blood pressure.
If not treated promptly, anaphylaxis can even cause death.
Food Allergies Causes
All foods have the potential to cause allergies. But there are certain types of foods that are very common cause these conditions, for example shrimp, lobster, crab, fish, and nuts.
Allergies due to common nuts are experienced by children. In addition to nuts, children can also experience allergies after consuming milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans. Milk allergies in children often cause mixed symptoms present in allergic immunoglobulin E and non-immunoglobulin E, which are swelling and constipation.
Food Allergies Risk Factors
If you suffer from allergies other than food allergies, then your chances of getting food allergies are greater than people who have never had any allergies. In addition, if you have a history of asthma, the risk of food allergies is also higher because these two conditions tend to arise simultaneously.
Your chances of getting food allergies are also higher if there are family members who have a history of allergies, heresy, eczema, or asthma.
The last risk factor is age. Infants and toddlers are more susceptible to food allergies compared to adults, because the selectivity of food absorption in the digestive organs of infants and toddlers is still low.
Although food allergies tend to disappear when someone gradually matures, but in some cases, this condition can re-emerge as they mature. Especially in allergy sufferers of shrimp, lobsters, and crabs, or allergy sufferers who often experience severe reactions, allergies can remain for life.
Diagnosis of Food Allergies
In diagnosing food allergies, usually the doctor will ask for symptoms and medical history of patients first before deciding to conduct laboratory tests.
In addition to the time span of symptoms after exposure to food, severity, and duration of symptoms, doctors will also ask about the frequency of occurrence of symptoms and what foods are the cause.
The doctor will ascertain whether the patient has a family with a history of allergies or whether the patient has a history of allergy, even if it is not a food allergy.
Further examination can be done to confirm the diagnosis. The most common is a blood test to measure the levels of allergic or immunoglobulin antibodies in the bloodstream.
In addition to examination of levels of antibodies in the laboratory, another type of examination that can be done is a skin prick test. In this test, the allergen substance from the extract of a food suspected to cause allergies, applied to the skin surface of the patient. Furthermore, the patient’s skin will be pierced with a small sterile needle to allow the allergen into the skin. If after an allergic reaction, such as redness, itching, or swelling of the skin, then it can be concluded that the patient suffers from allergies to the allergen.
Another check that can be done is a food elimination test. In this test, patients will be asked to avoid a type of food suspected to be the cause of allergies for half to one and a half months. If the patient is allergic to that type of food, then within that period the patient does not experience an allergic reaction, and re-experience it after the food is consumed again.
Blood tests and skin prick tests are usually performed on patients suspected of having food allergies mediated by imonoglobulin E, when the symptoms develop very quickly. While food elimination tests are usually done in cases of food allergy non-immunoglobulin E, that is when symptoms develop slowly.
Doctors can also perform testing by asking patients to eat suspected food as an allergy trigger in small portions but slowly increased. If no allergic reaction occurs during the test, then the food can be re-consumed patients every day.
Please remember that do not try to test food allergy yourself without supervision or guidance from a specialist to avoid harmful side effects, one of them is a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
Food Allergies Treatment
Actually there is no medicine that can cure food allergy. The purpose of drug administration here is to relieve allergic reactions that appear. Therefore, it would be nice if food allergy sufferers know and avoid foods that can trigger allergies in him.
Based on the severity of the symptoms, there are two types of allergy medications that are commonly used. The first is antihistamine drugs. This drug is used to relieve allergic reactions or allergy symptoms are still classified as mild to medium.
It is important to consult a doctor before taking this drug, because there are several types of antihistamines that are not suitable for use by children under the age of 2 years, such as promethazine and alimemazine.
The second type of drug allergy is a drug that contains adrenaline. These drugs are usually given by doctors to cope with severe allergic symptoms in cases of anaphylaxis by injection. Adrenaline is able to overcome the difficulty of breathing by widening the airways, as well as overcome shock by increasing blood pressure.
The Right Time to go to the Doctor
If you or your child has an allergic reaction shortly after eating a food, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately. In addition to preventing symptoms worsen, it will make it easier for doctors to make a diagnosis.
If you, your child, or those around you experience symptoms of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions, take it to the hospital immediately. Handling provided immediately will increase the chances of survivors.