What is food allergy?
An allergy is a nonvoluntary response of the immune system in the body to certain substances which usually do not cause an illness and do not harm our bodies. When the immune system experience sort of an “error” and mistakenly identifies a certain food ingredient as a threatening factor, it produces antibodies (immunoglobulins) of the type Ig E against that food. These antibodies attach to the wall of the mast cells (white blood cells which constitute part of the connective tissues in the body and which play an important role in defending our bodies). During the second exposure to those food ingredients, the antibodies attach, and the body secretes substances, mostly histamines, which lead to an allergic reaction. This reaction can be manifested in phenomena such as decreased blood pressure, difficulty breathing, swelling, diarrhea, heart palpitations, nausea, a burning sensation in the tongue and on the lips, vomiting, red bruises, itchiness and rash on the body. The most common allergy symptoms are the symptoms appearing on the skin. The symptoms may appear within minutes up to an hour from the moment of exposure to the food creating the allergic reaction. It is customary to think that the allergic reaction develops when allogenic food is consumed at a large quantity, but this is not true at all. It is sufficient for an allergic person to eat a small amount of the allergenic food, touching it only with the lips and even being around it, to evoke an allergic reaction.
What types of food may cause an allergy?
The types of food which usually cause an allergic reaction are eggs, cows’ milk, various types of nuts, peanuts, fish and seafood, sesame, soy, various wheat products such as bread and pastries, and tropical fruits such as coconut, kiwi and mango. Adults are usually allergic to fish, seafood, nuts and peanuts, while children are usually allergic to peanuts, soy, eggs and milk. It is important to know that there are snacks, sauces and pastries which may contain the food ingredients to which we are allergic, and therefore it is recommended to examine the ingredient label of every product.
How do you diagnose a food allergy?
If you suspect that you have a food allergy, try to examine whether you have continuously experienced one of the allergy symptoms after eating a certain type of food. Did your eyes start watering, did you feel a headache, stomachache, did you have swelling in the pharynx, did you feel tingling on your tongue and on your lips, and whether you suffered from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, rashes and irritation around your mouth? If you have experienced one of these symptoms regularly after eating a certain type of food, it is recommended to make an appointment with an allergy Doctor Who will diagnose whether you suffer from a food allergy. The diagnosis is done by a skin test, where a small amount of the food suspected as an allergen is placed on the arm or on the back. If, after 20 minutes, redness or swelling is developed in the area, you probably suffer from an allergy. It is also possible to diagnose a food allergy by a blood test and by food challenge tests. In the framework of this test, which is done only with the observation of a doctor, the patient consumes the food suspected as an allergen and its influence on the patient is tested. If there is no allergic reaction, the patient does not suffer from an allergy to the food ingredient.
What is a severe allergic reaction?
A severe allergic reaction is known as anaphylactic shock and it is a life-threatening condition. The symptoms of anaphylactic shock include a sensation of choking, confusion, decreased blood pressure, rash and swelling throughout the body, difficulty breathing and wheezing, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling in the throat, dizziness and it may lead to unconsciousness and death. When you identify that a person around you is experiencing anaphylactic shock, it is important to immediately inject them with adrenaline via an epinephrine syringe. If you or your children have experienced such an attack before, you must be equipped with two such syringes at all times. After administering the injection, it is important to contact emergency services and evacuate to a hospital. It is possible to use the emergency button application of the Aller-G application which will assist you in such an emergency.
How can you to treat an allergy?
The best way to avoid the allergic reaction is to not consume the food to which you are allergic. It is recommended to read the ingredient label of the food you purchase, and in restaurants ask the waiter for details of the food ingredients in the dish and make sure that it does not include the ingredient to which you are allergic. Make sure you carry an epinephrine syringe for an emergency and ensure that the people close to you know how to use the syringe. In recent years, medical studies have been conducted which examined treating food allergies by administering a vaccine orally. This vaccine includes a controlled and gradual exposure to the allergenic food ingredient, and it is performed in different medical centers around the country. Unfortunately, these vaccines involve risks and are not included in the health basket.
Can a food allergy go away?
Children who suffer from an allergy to eggs, soy, wheat and cows’ milk may, as they get older, become “cured” of these allergies. According to the data of the Ministry of Health, nut allergy goes away among 9% of children, and sesame and peanut allergies go away among 20% of children. If your child continues to suffer from an allergy to food even as they grow older, the allergy will probably accompany them throughout their life. If you believe that your allergy to a certain food has went away, it is recommended to avoid consuming the food before diagnosing it with an allergy doctor.
Who is the Aller-G application intended for?
How can the Aller-G application assist me?
The application was intended to make the lives of people suffering from food allergies easier. It includes a social network which enables you to receive current information regarding products for allergic people and to contact allergic people from all over the world. The application creates menus adapted to pregnant women and people suffering from overweight or underweight who are interested in changing their nutrition, while taking into account the allergy with which they are dealing. It displays restaurants, hotels, kindergartens and schools friendly to allergic people, enables playing a game which teaches children about their allergy, and it includes emergency applications which assist in cases of an allergy attack. You are welcome to get to know the different applications and we hope that you benefit from the Aller-G application.