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Food Allergies

Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Questions & Related Topics

Possible Symptoms for Food Allergies

  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Swollen eyelids, face, lips, and/or tongue
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swollen throat
  • Swollen lips
  • Itching anywhere on the body, especially on the mouth, throat, eyes, and skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Blocked airways[1]
  • Loss of consciousness[2]

Top 8 Food Allergy Causes

1. Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk is the leading cause of food allergies in people of all ages. Some children outgrow milk allergies by the time they turn 2 or 3 years old, though milk allergies end up following many children into adulthood.[3] Cow’s milk is found in many foods, including yogurt, bread, butter, cheese, ice cream, and pastries like donuts, biscuits, and muffins.[4]

2. Eggs

Egg whites and yolks are the most common food allergens after cow’s milk, and mostly affect infants and young children.[5] Eggs are commonly found in foods like mayonnaise, ice cream, pasta, coffee drinks, and most baked goods.

3. Fish

Bass, cod, and flounder are examples of fish that can trigger allergies. Many types of fish contain a protein in their muscles called parvalbumin that contributes to most fish allergies. Enolases, aldolases, and fish gelatin are other known allergens in fish.[6] Unexpected sources of fish include barbecue sauces, Caesar salad dressings, and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Shellfish

Most types of shellfish contain a protein called tropomyosin that has been linked to allergies.[7] Shellfish that can cause allergic reactions are shrimp, crabs, scallops, lobster, oysters, and clams.

5. Peanuts

Peanuts account for the majority of severe food-related allergic reactions around the world and affect children and adults alike.[8] There are at least 7 proteins in peanuts found to trigger severe allergic reactions. Foods that commonly contain peanuts include peanut butter, Thai and Chinese dishes, baked goods, candy, and margarine.[9]

6. Soy

Soybeans and soy products contain up to 16 proteins that have been linked to allergy symptoms in people of all ages, though children are most commonly affected by soy allergies.[10] Soy can be found in foods and products that contain edamame, miso, natto, soy sauce, tempeh, and tofu.[11]

7. Tree Nuts

Almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts are just some of the tree nuts that cause allergies. Tree nuts contain a number of seed storage proteins and plant defense-related proteins that trigger a range of allergy symptoms, though skin reactions are the most common symptom associated with tree nut allergies.[12]

16 Sources

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