What is a Food Allergy?
Food allergies happen when your immune system makes a mistake. Normally, your immune system protects you by producing antibodies that help you fight off bacteria, viruses, and other tiny organisms that can make you sick. But if you have a food allergy, exposure to that food triggers a harmful immune response, called an allergic reaction.
Lots of people have food allergies — about 32 million in the U.S., including 5.6 million under the age of 18. According to foodallergy.org, about 40 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
The following foods cause the most food allergies:
• Peanuts and Tree Nuts
What is an allergic reaction?
If you eat something that you are allergic to, antibodies to something in the food would cause mast cells (a type of immune system cell in the body) to release chemicals into the bloodstream. One of these chemicals is histamine.
The histamine then causes symptoms that can affect a person’s eyes, nose, throat, respiratory system, skin, and digestive system. A person with a food allergy could have a mild reaction — or it could be more severe. An allergic reaction could happen right away or a few hours after the person eats.
How Are Food Allergies Treated?
There is no cure for food allergies. Some can be outgrown; others will last a lifetime. Though there is no treatment, food allergies can be managed by avoiding trigger foods and ingredients. Be sure to read all ingredient labels! For more sensitive reactions, it’s advised to also avoid the foods that are processed or made in the same factory that also makes the food he you are allergic to.
Make a Plan
No matter how hard you try, accidents do happen sometimes. If you happen to eat an allergen, stay calm and follow your emergency plan. What’s an emergency plan? Before a slip-up happens, it’s a good idea to create a plan with your doctor. The plan should spell out what to do, who to tell, and which medicines to take if you have a reaction. Emergency plans are important to have, especially if you have a food allergy that can cause a serious reaction.
Living With Food Allergies (+ the best Allergy-Friendly Snack!)
Having a food allergy can be tough, but it doesn’t need to slow you down. Steering clear of foods that cause reactions is getting easier and easier by the day. How? Today, there are many companies that provide great substitutes for everything imaginable. You’d be surprised what you can find! Gluten free, dairy free, nut free…
Our commitment to food safety also includes providing products that are safe for those with food allergies. Our products are peanut and tree nut-free. They are also dairy-free, gluten and wheat-free, and soy-free. Our products are also non-GMO, Vegan and OU Kosher certified. Certificate available on request. Our top levels of management are active in every level of production to provide allergy friendly and safe foods for you!