The FDA recognizes eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Here’s a list of foods that commonly contain these allergens.
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What is an allergen?
FDA defines an allergen as “a substance that causes an allergic reaction.” Individuals who are allergic to a particular allergen may experience symptoms such as itching, wheezing, swelling, or difficulty breathing if they are exposed to the allergen. Some people may have a more severe reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.
What foods contain allergens?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans. These account for 90 percent of all food allergies.
People who are allergic to one food may be allergic to others. For example, someone who is allergic to shrimp may also be allergic to other crustacean shellfish such as crab or lobster. And someone with a peanut allergy may also be allergic to soybeans or tree nuts such as walnuts or pecans.
The FDA requires that foods that contain any of these eight major allergens must say so on the label – either in the ingredient list or in a “Contains” statement after the ingredient list. This makes it easier for people with food allergies to avoid the foods that can make them sick.
How do I know if I’m allergic to a certain food?
The best way to know if you’re allergic to a certain food is by speaking with a medical professional. However, the FDA does recognize eight major allergens, which are taxed below. If you see any of these allergens in the ingredients list of a food, be aware that you may be allergic to that food.
What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to a food?
The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to a food are:
-Itching or tingling in the mouth
-Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or face
-Wheezing or trouble breathing
-Nausea, vomiting, cramping or diarrhea
If you experience any of these symptoms after eating a food, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as a severe reaction can be life-threatening.
What should I do if I have an allergic reaction to a food?
If you have an allergic reaction to a food, the first thing you should do is stop eating the food. If you have severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
If your symptoms are not severe, you can try the following:
– Drink a glass of milk or water
– Eat some food (if you are not vomiting)
– Take an antihistamine (such asBenadryl)
– Put a cold cloth on your skin
How can I avoid allergens in my diet?
There are eight major allergens recognized by the FDA. They are:
These allergens can cause serious reactions in some people, so it’s important to know how to avoid them. Here are some tips:
-Read ingredient labels carefully. If a product contains any of the eight major allergens, it must be listed on the label.
-Avoid cross contamination. If you are allergic to one type of food, there is a risk of coming into contact with that food if it has come into contact with other foods. For example, if you are allergic to peanuts, there is a risk of coming into contact with peanut products if they have been processed on the same equipment as other foods.
-Wash your hands after Handling Allergenic Foods. Even if you don’t have an allergy, it’s important to wash your hands after handling allergenic foods. This will help to prevent cross contamination.
What is the treatment for food allergies?
There is no cure for food allergies. The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid eating the food that triggers it. Even trace amounts of the offending food can cause a reaction in some people with severe allergies.
If you have a severe allergy, you may need to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times in case of accidental exposure. Epinephrine is a medication that can quickly reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction.
If you have a food allergy, you should:
-Read food labels carefully to avoid foods that contain the offending ingredient
-Carry emergency medication such as epinephrine with you at all times
-Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace
-Tell friends, family, and caregivers about your allergy and how to administer emergency medication
Can food allergies be cured?
No, currently there is no cure for food allergies. Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to a protein that is normally harmless. When this protein is ingested, inhaled, or comes in contact with the skin, the immune system overreacts and causes symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, trouble breathing, or in severe cases, Anaphylaxis.
Are there any new treatments for food allergies?
There are no new treatments for food allergies currently in development. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergen entirely. This can be difficult, as even trace amounts of an allergen can cause a reaction in some people. For this reason, it is important to read labels carefully and be aware of common sources of allergens.
The most common allergens are:
What research is being done on food allergies?
There is currently no cure for food allergies, and the only way to manage them is to avoid eating the foods that trigger an allergic reaction. However, researchers are working on ways to prevent and treat food allergies.
One approach being studied is immunotherapy, which involves giving someone small amounts of the food allergen in order to build up tolerance. Studies have shown that this approach can be effective in treating peanut and milk allergies, but more research is needed.
Other researchers are working on developing treatments that can stop or reverse an allergic reaction once it has started. One promising treatment is called EPinephrine, which is a hormone that can act quickly to reduce the symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
Although there is no cure for food allergies, research is ongoing and there are treatments available that can help people manage their allergy.