Food Allergies

When you have an allergy to a type of food you may develop some symptoms on your skin or may have difficulty with your breathing. The skin symptoms usually include swelling, itching, and/or a rash. The rash could be anywhere. Breathing problems may include wheezing, cough, chest tightness, swelling, and itching in the throat. A severe food allergy can cause an anaphylactic reaction and even death.

Other types of food intolerance may include stomach ache or diarrhea.

Allergies to foods are caused by a reaction between the food and the body's immune system. When this reaction occurs, chemicals which cause skin, stomach, or breathing symptoms are produced by the body. The more a person is exposed to the particular food, the stronger the reaction. Reactions can occur anywhere from a few minutes to 72 hours after a food is eaten. Medical researchers are not sure why some people get allergies. It is sometimes difficult for health care providers to determine which food caused the allergy without doing special tests. Certain foods are more likely to cause food allergies in children. Sometimes children outgrow these allergies.

If you have an allergic reaction to one of these foods, you may react to another food in the same group. It is also possible that if you were once allergic to these foods, you may no longer be allergic. If you had a severe reaction in the past to one of these foods, it would be better to avoid it now unless you have had recent allergy testing indicating you are no longer allergic. If you had a mild reaction in the past and you wish to see if you are still allergic, you may see an allergist.

1. Dairy Products: Milk, Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, Ice Cream

2. Legumes: Peanuts, Peas, Soybeans, Lentil, Licorice, Beans

3. Cashew Family: Cashew, Mango, Pistachio

4. Plum Family: Plum, Prune, Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Peach, Nectarine

5. Nightshade Family: Pepper, Eggplant, Tomato, Potato

6. Parsley Family: Caraway, Carrot, Celery, Dill

7. Walnut Family: Walnuts, Pecan, Hickory nut, Butternut

8. Shellfish: Lobster, Shrimp, Prawns, Crab, Crayfish

The following are very common in children but they are not related to each other:

9. Other: Eggs, peanuts, all Citrus Fruits, Chocolate, Wheat, Strawberries, Corn

Fanteen.org is a food allergy site for teens.