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Food allergies cause various symptoms in the human body ranging from mild to severe. Food allergy is caused when the immune system treats a specific food protein (allergen) as a threat and attacks it. An antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) is released to neutralize the allergic food substance (allergen). If the allergen is further detected in the bloodstream, the IgE antibodies will release histamines and similar chemicals resulting in allergy symptoms.
The reaction may affect various parts of the body such as skin, GI tract, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular system. The symptoms appear within minutes or hours after consuming the allergic food.
Sometimes severe symptoms can result in a potentially life-threatening condition called Anaphylaxis characterized by breathing impairment and sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis may worsen quickly and become fatal if not treated immediately. The first-line treatment for anaphylaxis is an administration of epinephrine /adrenaline. After administration of epinephrine, other medications such as steroids, antihistamines and asthma medications also may be used to control the reaction.
Following are the common food allergy symptoms: