There is a lot to say on this subject so let’s start with what is what and why is this happening to us.
Food allergy is an abnormally strong immune system reaction to proteins in our food. It is a form of food hypersensitivity. Can occur instantly, within seconds or in a few hours. It is not food poisoning.
Food intolerance is when the reaction happens later and it lasts longer and it’s just uncomfortable. It happens when your body has difficulty digesting.
Allergens- the substance (antigen) that leads to the response of the immune system. They are the allergy triggers .
Histamine- an organic substance that is responsible for starting the process of getting rid of the allergens from your body. They make you sneeze, itch, have a runny nose or tear up. The amount that you need varies from person to person.
Cross-reactivity is when the proteins of different allergens are so similar that the body can not distinguish between them.
- Hereditary- runs in the family
- Sensibilization – prolonged exposure to allergens
In The Netherlands there are 14 allergens that are required by law. I am amusing those because I found them to be the main categories that are creating problems, food wise. Other allergens are pet or pollen, but we are not discussing them.
In children you can mostly see an allergic reaction to: milk, eggs, fish and nuts.
In adults you can see reactions to: nuts, fish, gluten and soy. A high number of adults that are lactose intolerant.
In really unlucky people they can have an allergy to almost all the ingredients and for that I am sorry.
They vary as well.
The face, lips, tongue or eyelids can swell or itch. (O.A.S= oral allergy syndrome)
You can have a stuffy nose, shortness of breath.
You can experience a rash, vomiting or diarrhea.
In severe cases people need an adrenaline injection because they enter an anaphylactic shock that if not treated can cause death.
Dealing with allergens
Prepare your food carefully and be mindful of cross- contamination.
Communicate your food and dietary restrictions.
You will find here info about:
Gluten sensitivity is a common intestinal condition. Having a coeliac disease is not an allergic condition.
Found in: grains, wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut.
Possible cross-reactivity with: milk, corn, rice, yeast
Symptoms of the allergy: bloated belly, abdominal pain, vomiting, less appetite, persistent diarrhea, stinky greasy stool.
Some people can eat cooked eggs because the proteins are broken during the cooking process but that doesn’t mean that your allergy is gone.
Possible cross-reactivity with: other egg types, meat.
Symptoms of the allergy: audible breathing, asthma like symptoms, abdominal pain, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea or constipation. Can induce an anaphylactic shock.
The protein from fish that is causing all those nasty symptoms is very heat stable so cooking it will not help.
Possible cross-reactivity with: other fish species. No cross-reaction with crustaceans, squid, snails or caviar.
Symptoms of the allergy : gastrointestinal complaints, respiratory problems, skin rashes, an anaphylaxis shock may occur, angioedema( a swelling or accumulation of fluid that occurs in a short period of time, mostly encountered in face, tongue, intestines or throat).
Also known as earth nut, groundnut, oil nut or monkey nut. That is actually not a nut, it is a bean.
This is a life threatening allergy. The reaction to this can be so strong and quick, if a quick action is not taken it may end in death. And who wants to tell close ones that their dear relative died from a peanut.
Possible cross-reactivity with: soy, peas, lentils, lupin, beans, birch pollen.
Symptoms of the allergy: most commonly they involve skin complaints. You can also hear about angioedema or respiratory problems.
Reacts to hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts or seeds such as almonds. Now this is a long list of things that you can’t have.
Possible cross-reactivity with: other nuts and birch pollen.
Symptoms of the allergy: to itch around the mouth.
It is a common food allergy.
Possible cross-reactivitywith: other nuts and peanuts.
Symptoms: hives or itching around the mouth.
Most common is the allergy to cow’s milk but this doesn’t mean lactose intolerance. To be lactose intolerant it means that you can tolerate the proteins but can’t digest the lactose properly.
Possible cross-reactivity with: other types of milk.
Symptoms of the allergy. hives, itching or tingling feeling around the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, shortness of breath, vomiting.
Includes crab, shrimp or river lobster. It usually takes around one hour to make an appearance.
Contact, inhalation of steam during preparation or contaminated oil can cause a reaction.
Possible cross-reactivity with: the coil protein called tropomyosin, and you can add to your list mites, cockroach.
Symptoms of the allergy. hives(most common), skin complains, intestinal pain, respiratory problems.
React to: snails, shellfish, mussels, scallops, cockles and razor clams.
Possible cross-reactivity with: dust mites, other molluscs, crustaceans.
Symptoms of the allergy: hives(most common), skin complaints, intestinal pain, respiratory problems.
Reacts to leaf celery, pale celery, celeriac, raw or cooked.
Possible cross-reactivity with:birch and or mugwort pollen
Symptoms of the allergy: gastrointestinal complaints, O.A.S= oral allergy syndrome.
Reacts to mustard seed: pink, white, yellow, red, black, brown. There is no discrimination here.
Possible cross-reactivity with:cauliflower, kale, broccoli, turnip, cabbage, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, cress, watercress.
Symptoms of the allergy: gastrointestinal complaints, shortness of breath, rashes, angioedema.
Sesame seeds allergy
It is also categorized as a severe allergy.
Possible cross-reactivity with: poppy seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachio.
Symptoms of the allergy: gastrointestinal complaints, shortness of breath, rashes, angioedema. Can induce an anaphylactic shock.
We are not referring to famous Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Lupine or lupin is a plant. This allergy is similar to the peanut one.
Possible cross-reactivity with: soy, peanuts.
Symptoms of the allergy: hives, angioedema, itching around the mouth. In severe cases: acute asthma, severe swelling in the throat, anaphylactic shock.
It can be a natural occurring substance or added (E200- E228). Triggers an intolerance reaction. For an allergic reaction you need more than 10 mg/ kg to be present.
Can be find in wine, dried fruit, mussels
Symptoms of the allergy: palpitations, hives.