Food Allergies

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Understanding Food Allergies: Symptoms, Reactions, and Treatment

What are Food Allergies?

Food allergies trigger an immune response to specific food proteins:

  • Immune Reaction: Antibodies like Immunoglobulin E (IgE) react to food proteins, causing allergic symptoms.
  • Histamine Release: Mast cells release histamine upon subsequent exposure, leading to allergic symptoms.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Food allergy symptoms can vary from mild to severe:

  • Mild Reaction: Raised temperature, itchy skin, rashes, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, weakness.
  • Severe Reaction (Anaphylaxis): Swelling of the neck or throat, severe asthma, collapse, unconsciousness, potential fatality.

Treatment and Management

The primary approach to managing food allergies:

  • Avoidance: Prevent exposure to allergens to minimize reactions.
  • Immediate Action: Remove allergen, seek emergency medical assistance (call 999 or 112), encourage medication use.

Note: Anaphylactic reactions are covered in a separate video.