How Do Food Allergies Affect the Body?

Food AllergiesFood allergies are on the rise, both in the United States and around the world. In fact, researchers estimate that upwards of 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased by nearly 50% from the years 1997 to 2011. This swift rise in the number of people suffering from one or more food allergies is baffling to researchers, although many believe that modern chemical processes used to keep foods fresher longer play an important role. What’s most alarming is that this statistic is ever on the rise. If you’re one of the people who are suffering from a food allergy, you understand the significance this health condition can have on your lifestyle. Following is valuable information from top gastroenterologists in Queens that can help you better understand your food allergy and its affect on your body.  If you have a food allergy or think you may be allergic to something you’ve eaten you should contact a GI doctor in Queens today.

One of the few things we know for sure about food allergies is that different food allergies affect different people in different ways. Many researchers believe that one potential cause for food allergies is over consumption of a specific food that leads to a digestive intolerance of it. Food-allergy sufferers can experience one or a number of effects, dependent upon which food they’re allergic to, as well as what processes are affected within their own bodies. Among the most common affects on the body include gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, respiratory problems, mood disorders, and serious results such as anaphylaxis.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Some of the most common foods that can lead to food allergies include dairy and wheat gluten. Typically, these types of food allergies cause such effects as bloating, diarrhea, and gas. These are some of the more common and mild symptoms. However, they can become more severe, eventually causing a need for medications or even surgery. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a semi-regular or regular basis, talk to doctor near you before your symptoms worsen.

Skin conditions

Skin problems are one of the more common symptoms of food allergies. These can be anywhere from mild to severe, and they typically come on quickly following consumption of a particular food. Some of the skin conditions that can arise from a food allergy include rashes or hives. Another skin condition that can be caused by a food allergy is chronic acne.

Mood disorders

One of the more surprising effects of some food allergies is mood disorders. Many people who suffer, for instance, from depression may have a food allergy they don’t even know about or realize is possible. Additionally, some children who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have an intolerance to a specific food, most especially sugar.

Respiratory problems

Respiratory problems that are caused by food allergies can be mild, but an allergy to a particular food that leads to respiratory problems can be severe enough to cause death. A few of the more mild respiratory issues that can occur due to a food allergy include chronic congestion, buildup of mucus, and chronic or persistent hay fever.

Anaphylaxis

How Do Food Allergies Affect the BodyAnaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can occur following the consumption of a specific food. This rapid-onset reaction may cause an itchy rash, and it often can cause serious effects such as tongue or throat swelling, vomiting, low blood pressure, and even extreme shortness of breath. It is important to note that anaphylaxis is a very serious reaction that may cause death, and immediate medical attention needs to be sought. Statistics show that a food allergy reaction sends some to the emergency department every three minutes in our nation, which translates into over 200,000 emergency departments visits every year due to food allergies. Peanuts are one of the biggest culprits leading to anaphylaxis and even death.

Food allergies are definitely on the rise in developed areas such as the United States and Europe. They are also increasing significantly in underdeveloped or developing countries. Though many researchers may not be certain of their specific causes as of yet, one thing is certain: food allergies can lead to digestive, skin, mood, and respiratory problems that may severely limit your lifestyle and can even lead to death. If you suspect someone you love may be experiencing symptoms of a food allergy, it’s very important to seek medical attention and counsel. Contact a top gastroenterologist near you for more information, as well as food allergy testing.