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5 common food allergies

5-common-food-allergies-size-3
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What to look for in foods most likely to bring on an allergic reaction.

Allergic symptoms can range from a tingling mouth or a mild rash to life-threatening breathing difficulties.

Eggs
Most sufferers outgrow this allergy before starting school. Common reactions include a red bumpy rash, redness and swelling around the mouth, stomach cramps, feeling or being sick, and diarrhoea. It might also cause a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing or provoke an asthmatic condition. In extreme cases it can cause anaphylaxis.

Milk
This allergy can affect as many as 7% of babies but by about three years, about 80% of these sufferers will have outgrown the allergy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include a rash, stomach cramps, diarrhoea or vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Parents should consult their child’s doctor before cutting milk and other dairy products out completely.

Soya
Soya is used in over half of all manufactured foods. It is a widely recognised food allergen so luckily it has to be flagged up on packaging, but foods which are not prepacked (breads, snacks etc) should be avoided. A soya allergy can be relatively mild so consult your GP about how far you should go in avoiding ingredients.

Wheat
An allergic reaction can include itchy eyes, rhinitis and asthma, or an upset stomach and skin problems like eczema. Happily, wheat-free alternatives to common foods like bread and pasta are widely available. An allergy to gluten (which is in wheat, oats, rye and barley) is associated with Coeliac Disease, so a GP’s diagnosis is important.

Peanuts
Around 80% of children with a peanut allergy will carry it into adulthood. Those who have been diagnosed with a peanut allergy are likely to be given a portable dose of adrenalin to counter any serious anaphylactic allergic reaction. Although many people with peanut allergies are not allergic to other ‘true’ nuts, it can be safer to avoid all ‘contains nuts’ products.

Savvy tip
Avoiding an entire food group can affect a healthy diet, so consult your GP for an official diagnosis before taking action.

Pass it on – food allergens in other products
Some glues contain traces of wheat, toiletries can contain soya, egg or tree nut oil and some pet foods may have milk or peanuts in, so read labels carefully before handling.

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