Anaphylaxis known as anaphylactic shock is a reaction that shows symptoms in different parts of the body at the same time. The first symptoms of anaphylaxis can develop within minutes of eating the food, but other symptoms, such as severe breathing difficulties, can develop up to several hours later. Many anaphylactic reactions can be misleadingly mild at first, so it’s better to be cautious and not underestimate the danger. People with severe allergies who also have asthma are more likely to have a severe reaction affecting the lungs.
Anaphylaxis can also be caused by other things, such as bee and wasp stings, and drug allergy, but food allergy is one of the most common causes. In the UK and Europe, peanuts, milk, eggs and fish are the most common foods to cause anaphylaxis. Nuts, sesame seeds and shellfish can also cause it.
Anaphylaxis can be fatal if it isn’t treated immediately. Treatment usually includes adrenaline, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines and possibly, full cardioplulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Oral Allergy Syndrome
Oral allergy syndrome is a food allergy that is caused by certain foods, particularly fruit and vegetables. Reaction is seen as itching or rashes on lips and mouth after they are eaten. These reactions usually happen in people who have hay fever and are sensitive to pollen, for example pollen from birch, grass, or plants in the daisy family such as ragweed and mugwort. This is because the allergens in these types of pollen are also found in some fruit and vegetables.
It is found that many people do not show any reaction to these fruits and vegetables after they are cooked as cooking destroys the allergens that cause this kind of reaction.
Exercise-Induced Food Allergy
This is an unusual condition where someone has an allergic reaction when they take exercise within a couple of hours of eating a particular food. People who are sensitive in this way may normally be able to eat the food with only a mild reaction, or no reaction at all, but they can have a severe reaction (including anaphylaxis) if they eat it just before they exercise. Experts don’t fully understand why some people react this way.
Some people have the tendency to develop allergies and if someone has an allergy to one thing, they can develop an allergy to other things. This is known as allergic cross-reactivity.
Allergic cross-reactivity means that someone may suffer an allergic reaction even when they’re avoiding the foods they know they’re allergic to. For example, if someone is allergic to peanuts, they might react to other foods in the legume family such as soya, lupins, peas, lentils and beans. Allergic cross-reactions can also happen between certain fruit or vegetables and latex (known as latex-food syndrome), or the pollens that cause hay fever.