Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Food Allergies & Food Intolerance
Food allergies occur when the body attacks a food it mistakes as harmful, causing symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath or hives. With food intolerance, the digestive system alone rejects the food, finding it difficult to digest properly. Foods such as peanuts, shellfish, eggs, soy or wheat are the most common type of food allergens.

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    Fructose intolerance limits your body's ability to use sugar to create energy. As a result, you can suffer from low blood sugar and experience feelings of irritability and sweating. You may also have vomiting or diarrhea. Without treatment, people with fructose intolerance can risk liver damage, coma, and death.

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    Wheat allergies cause the body to react negatively toward wheat protein. When an individual eats wheat products the immune system creates antibodies that attack those wheat proteins. Those antibodies cause an allergic reaction in the body that can range from slight to severe. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can affect the mouth, throat, digestive system, and eyes, causing rashes, irritation, and swelling.

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    Your doctor may start by asking you questions about your soy allergy reactions to determine whether or not you're allergic. The doctor will also likely perform one or two allergy tests. In a skin test, the doctor applies some soy to your skin and then watches to determine whether or not you develop a rash. A blood test measures levels of certain antibodies in your blood. Based on the test results, the doctor will determine the right treatment for your condition.

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    A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of

    Most peanut allergies are first suspected after a person eats peanuts and has an allergic reaction. After treating the immediate symptoms, your doctor may draw blood and look for blood evidence of a peanut allergy. If the blood test is negative, you should see an allergist to find out what caused your reaction.

    If you just happen to do a blood test for food allergies and see a peanut allergy without having symptoms previously, more testing needs to done. Your doctor will likely send you to an allergist for a skin prick test. The skin prick test gives the best information. 

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    It's not really known what makes some people's immune systems respond negatively to soy, so it can't really be prevented. Also, if you have a soy allergy, you can't make the allergy go away. However, you can prevent symptoms caused by allergic reactions. The best way to do this is by avoiding soy products. Let people know that you're allergic to soy so they won't accidentally serve you soy, and carefully inspect food labels. If you know you have a severe soy allergy, carry medications such as antihistamines or epinephrine injectors to prevent life-threatening situations.

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    A Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of
    The following are foods you should not eat (contain soy) if you have a soy allergy:

    • Cocoa mixes that contain soy
    • Ovaltine
    • Powdered drink mixes with soy
    • Nondairy creamers
    • High protein powder mixes with soy
    Milk and dairy:
    • Tofu
    • Cheese with soy
    • Soy-based milks, plain or flavored
    • Soy infant formulas
    • Soy yogurt
    Meats and other proteins:
    • Baby food meats or combination dinners with soy
    • Breaded or self-basting meats, fish, and poultry with soy
    • Cold cuts or frankfurters with soy
    • Imitation bacon bits
    • Prepared dinners with soy
    • Vegetarian burgers and sausages
    • Tofu
    • Soy protein isolate
    • Canned or frozen fruits processed with soy
    • Any breaded, canned or frozen vegetables with soy
    • Potatoes, instant, with soy
    • Soy beans, edamame
    Breads, cereals and pasta:
    • Bread and rolls with soy
    • Cold or hot cereals with soy
    • Crackers made with soy
    • Pancake and waffle mixes made with soy
    • Pasta, macaroni, noodles and spaghetti prepared with soy
    • Soy flour, meal, grits, or fiber
    • Zwieback
    • Soups made or prepared using soy (Examples: Campbell's cream of celery and cream of chicken contain soy protein isolates)
    • Butter or margarine with soy
    • Gravy mixes with soy
    • Imitation sour cream
    • Non-dairy creamers or powdered coffee cream with soy protein
    • Oils with soy (may be ok in some people)
    • Peanut butter with soy
    • Salad dressings with soy
    • Vegetable shortenings with soy
    Desserts and sweets:
    • Cakes or cookies with soy
    • Candy (even chocolate) with soy
    • Ice cream with soy
    • Pretzels and chips with soy
    • Pudding mixes containing soy
    • Tofutti
    • Bac-os bacon-flavored chips with soy
    • McCormick salad toppings with textured soy flour, soy nuts, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein
    • Soy sauce (may be okay)
    • shoyu, tamari, soya
    • Spaghetti sauces with soy
    • Steak sauce with soy
    • Stir-fry sauce with soy
    • Worcestershire sauce containing soy
    • Miso
    • Tempeh
    • Natto
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Anyone following a wheat-free diet due to a wheat allergy must avoid:

    •   Bread crumbs
    •   Bran
    •   Cereal
    •   Couscous
    •   Cracker meal
    •   Enriched flour
    •   Farina
    •   Gluten
    •   Graham flour
    •   High-gluten flour
    •   High-protein flour
    •   Spelt
    •   Vital gluten
    •   Wheat bran
    •   Wheat germ
    •   Wheat gluten
    •   Wheat malt
    •   Wheat starch
    •   Whole wheat flour
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    Some research suggests that breastfeeding helps to delay the onset of allergies in children and (less proven) that it inhibits allergic reactions later in a child's life. Breast milk is the least likely food to cause an allergic reaction, and it strengthens a baby's immune system. It has been thought that postponing the introduction of solid food into a baby's diet until after six months of age can prolong a baby's allergy-free phase, but newer evidence suggests that there may be no allergy-prevention benefit to delaying the introduction of foods.
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    With a soy allergy, the immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which leads to traditional symptoms of allergic reactions, such as runny nose, itchy eyes, and rashes or hives. Other common symptoms may include wheezing, diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness. Although most symptoms of soy allergy are mild, it can also result in anaphylactic shock, which can be serious and even deadly. Anaphylactic shock, which is more likely in people with asthma and other conditions, can create airway swelling, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.
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    If eating soy causes a severe reaction with serious symptoms, such as dropping blood pressure, weakened or rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, or dizziness, you should go to the nearest emergency room. These are symptoms of anaphylactic shock, a serious reaction to soy that can be fatal. If you experience milder symptoms, you can schedule a doctor's appointment for diagnosis and treatment.