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How to End a Food Allergy — With the Food You’re Allergic To

While science is stumped on why food allergies are so prevalent today, one thing researchers are certain of is that a cure for food allergies is definitely needed. To that end, one suggestion for addressing children’s food allergies is to introduce certain foods, like peanuts, earlier than once advised.

allergy

Other strategies include sensitizing allergens to allergic persons through small, supervised exposures, such as through an allergen patch or small doses of the allergen in a pill, CBS News said.

The featured article focuses on children — today 1 in 13 children has a food allergy — but as you know, adults can develop food allergies too. Researchers are unsure of why the rate of food allergies continues to grow, but associations have been found between food allergies and eating foods laced with antibiotics, impaired gut microbiome and low levels of vitamin D.

Environmental triggers, including chemicals in your foods, may also play a part. Most of the processed and packaged foods you find on your grocery store shelves are laden with additives, preservatives, colorings, flavorings and a number of other chemicals designed to make the product look and taste good. However, each of these additional chemicals increases your risk you'll have an adverse reaction.

Research has found that junk food increases a child's risk of asthma and allergies. Food preservatives are also known to trigger asthma attacks in some people, particularly sulfites, which are found in foods like shrimp, dried fruits and wine. They include:

  • Sodium bisulfite
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Sodium sulfite

Some of the more common whole foods that spark an allergic reaction in children are nuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and milk. Why those particular foods are the leading triggers is still not fully understood. Dr. Kari Nadeau, director for the Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research, points out there is no one protein similar between the foods, and that 30 percent of people who do have food allergies often are allergic to more than one food in that group.

Scientists have also found that allergies may run in families, meaning there may be a genetic factor, as well as environmental factors in the development of food allergies.

If you believe you’ve developed a food allergy, before you look at what to do about it, make certain whether it’s a food allergy or a food intolerance you’ve developed, as there is a difference. If you are intolerant to a food, you may be miserable for hours to days after eating.

However, if you are allergic, it could lead to a life-threatening situation. A food intolerance occurs in the digestive tract, while a food allergy triggers a systemic immune response. Symptoms of a food allergy include hives, swelling, nausea and vomiting.

The job of your immune system is to identify foreign invaders, separate them and destroy them. When your immune system overreacts to food or other allergens, it can result in a systemic allergic reaction. If it progresses to cause life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or a drop in your blood pressure, it is called anaphylaxis.

During an allergic reaction, your immune system mistakenly identifies specific a molecule as dangerous and produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) in an effort to neutralize the threat. Researchers suggest that childhood food allergies might be prevented with prenatal or early postnatal strategies toward desensitization — as suggested in the featured article.

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