The 8 Most Common Food Allergies

breakfast food, waffles, eggs, fruit

Did you know that nearly fifteen million American adults and children suffer from some type of food allergy? Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe and include vomiting, cramping, hives, swelling, trouble swallowing, and anaphylaxis. And, even though all foods can potentially cause an allergic reaction, there are eight foods that most commonly do so.

1. Milk

Milk allergies are most commonly seen in babies and children under the age of three. About 90% of children will outgrow this allergy by age. Avoidance of milk and products made with milk, like cheese, butter, and yogurt, is necessary. Mothers of breastfed babies that have been diagnosed with a milk allergy may also need to cut these types of food out of their diets.

2. Eggs

An egg allergies is also common in children and many will outgrow this allergy as well. Because the proteins in the egg whites and the yoks are different, it is possible to be allergic to either one and not the other. However, most people react to the egg whites.

3. Peanuts

Peanut allergies have been on the rise and have become very prevalent among children. Those with a family history of peanut allergies may be more at risk. Recently, experts have started recommending early introduction of peanuts to protect against the allergy. Some may outgrow the allergy during their teenage years but reintroduction should be done under the guidance of a doctor.

4. Tree Nuts

The nuts and seeds that come from trees, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pine nuts, can cause very severe allergic reactions. Those with a tree nut allergy are susceptible to developing allergies to other types of tree nuts. Foods products that are made with these nuts or in a factory where tree nuts are present should also be completely avoided.

5. Shellfish

Shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, scallops, and squid, can cause an allergic reaction when your body attacks the protein in it. Those with a shellfish allergy should also avoid it as it cooks because the vapors it produces can trigger a reaction. Most people do not outgrow this allergy. Use of an epi-pen is generally recommended.

6. Soy

Soy allergies, like milk allergies, are common in children under the age of three. A soy allergy typically includes soybeans and soy products and soy is found many foods. Total avoidance of all soy products is necessary.

7. Wheat

Wheat allergies are caused by the proteins that are found in wheat and, in turn, products that contain wheat. Therefore, wheat should be avoided not only in food but also in cosmetic products that use wheat.

8. Fish

Fish allergies are common and can develop later in life. It is also likely that if you are allergic to one type of fish, you may be allergic to other types as well. Reactions can be extremely severe and sufferers, like those with a shellfish allergy, often carry an epi-pen.

Food allergies are dangerous and can be life threatening. Learn more about how to manage your food allergy here and what we at Plymouth Ear, Nose and Throat can do to help here.