Food allergies and intolerances can happen at any age
29 Jan 2017
Food allergies or intolerances were thought to develop mainly as a child. As a result, there is a gross misconception that allergies only develop at a certain age. This, however, is very wrong!
Food allergies and the experts
Allergy symptoms can appear at any age. An estimated 4 percent of adults are affected on a yearly basis (American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology). However, there is a big difference between food intolerances which cause moderate discomfort and allergies which can cause life-threatening responses. Moreover, you can easily develop an allergy to foods you’ve eaten for years with no problem.
New allergic reactions in adults are not common, but they do occur with the most common being, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
Why do we suddenly get these allergies?
Often adults who develop new allergies to foods they have always consumed are taken aback. Why the sudden allergy? Experts struggle to answer this question. But, what is known is that an allergy is triggered due to an immune response in the body. Adults with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, eczema or seasonal allergies it seems are more prone to developing these sudden allergies. Mainly due to the link between cross-reacting antigens. Adults who are known to have a significant tree allergy may, as a result, develop allergic reactions to various tree products. Most noteworthy would be fruits and tree nuts.
What are the symptoms of an allergy?
Common presenting symptoms include:
– Swelling of the lips and tongue,
– Shortness of breath
– Rash, and even
– Anaphylactic shock, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction
Allergic reactions to food are sudden and unpredictable. They happen within minutes of eating food. In severe cases, it is best to see treatment to isolate the cause. Also advised is carry the appropriate medication to counteract any known reactions. Alternatively, you can keep a food diary which makes it easier to track the source of an allergy write down everything you had eaten before the reaction—even if you don’t think it was important.