5 of the most common food allergies test

Allergic reactions are very common, and food allergy symptoms range from mild to life-threateningly serious. Learn more about what to expect from common food allergies here…

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Food allergies occur when certain foods trigger the body’s immune system to react unusually. Fortunately, food allergy symptoms are most often quite mild, like a tingling mouth or itchy rash, although sometimes they can be sudden and severe, leading to breathing difficulties. Find out more about some of the most common food allergies in the UK here…

Eggs allergy

The good news is that most sufferers outgrow this food allergy before starting school. Common food allergy symptoms to eggs 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 allergy

This is one of the most common food allergies, and can affect as many as 7% of babies. But the good news is that by the time they are three years old, about 80% of sufferers will have outgrown this food 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 allergy

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

Wheat allergy

Food allergy symptoms in reaction to wheat 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.

Peanut allergy

Around 80% of children with a food allergy to peanuts 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 allergy 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 – Causes of food allergies 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.