Food allergies are the most common and prevalent type
of allergy. Up to 12 million Americans suffer from
some type of food allergy.
The most common culprits are eggs, fish and shellfish,
peanuts and other tree nuts.
Children are most commonly allergic to the same foods
but with the addition to milk and other dairy
Corn and corn products also commonly cause allergic
reactions in children.
Most allergic symptoms are often only bothersome, but
they can be life threatening.
The most common symptoms are itching of the mouth,
eyes and skin, hives, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,
often but not always accompanied by stomach cramps and
wheezing, shortness of breath or trouble swallowing.
The more severe symptoms can include swelling. The
swelling tends to focus on the face area causing
swelling of the eyelids, lips, ears and tongue.
Mood swings and depression is another symptom.
The most severe symptoms can result in death. Around
200 deaths each year are reported from both the
initial allergic reaction and secondary complications.
There is currently no cure for food allergies. While
allergy shots have been developed to help with many
different types of allergies, none have been
successfully made for food allergies.
The people with the allergies usually avoid those
foods that cause the allergic reaction. Epinephrine
can relieve the symptoms, and is often carried by
people diagnosed with food allergies to be used in an
Some scientists believe genetic engineering may create
vaccines, but that’s still years away.