Around 45 per cent of the UK population suffers from a food allergy or intolerance at some point in their lives - could you be one of them?
Top food allergy searches:
Food intolerance is a bad reaction to a particular food or ingredient. The illness occurs each time the food is eaten, especially when larger quantities are consumed. This is usually because the body doesn't produce enough of the particular chemical or enzyme that's needed for digestion of that food.
Intolerance symptoms: nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea. The most common intolerance foods include cheese, milk, wheat, egg and peanuts. In order to find out if you have food intolerance it will be necessary to eliminate certain things from your diet until you identify the food. More sophisticated tests can be arranged by your doctor. It may be possible to manage the intolerance by reducing the amount of a particular food in your diet. Your doctor may be able to help with lactase enzyme drops for those with lactose intolerance.
Food allergies cause an adverse reaction in the body's immune system. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis shock) can see severe rash, swelling and unconsciousness in sufferers. The vast majority (90 per cent) of food allergies are caused by the by the following: peanuts, tree nuts (including macadamia and Brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts), fish and shellfish, cows' milk, eggs, Soya and wheat. Tests to find out what is causing an allergy are often not necessary. It's usually fairly obvious which food is causing the problem. The tests themselves can cause severe reaction and are best carried out in hospital. Your doctor will be able to arrange a test for you.
Allergy symptoms: itching and/or swelling of your lips, mouth, tongue and throat, skin reactions (eg swelling and itching, eczema and flushing) diarrhoea, feeling sick, vomiting and bloating, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, runny nose, sore, red and itchy eyes The only treatment for food allergy is to avoid the problem food. A dietician will help you identify and remove a problem food from your diet find alternatives so you don't lose out on essential nutrients.
Do you have a food allergy? How have you learned to deal with and what tips can you offer to others?