Do You Have Food Allergies?
Food allergies affect an estimated 8% of children (about 2 in every classroom) and 10.8% of adults in the US. Presently, there is no cure for food allergies though considerable research is ongoing to understand the underlying causes, prevent their onset, and find a cure for the condition.
Your immune system normally protects you from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can make you sick. When you have a food allergy, your body mistakenly identifies a food protein (allergen) — that's meant to nourish your body — as an invader on the attack. Your immune system makes IgE antibodies (Immunoglobulin E) that, when exposed to an allergen, trigger the release of chemicals (histamines and others) into the bloodstream to defend against the 'invasion'. The release of these chemicals causes an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can affect the lungs, throat, mouth, nose, skin, stomach, heart, and brain and can progress quickly. Symptoms can range from mild (like an itchy mouth, itching/runny nose, sneezing, a few minor hives on the skin or mild nausea) to severe (like shortness of breath, repetitive coughing, chest pain, throat tightening, trouble breathing, swelling, vomiting, loss of consciousness, hives covering the body, a sense of impending doom, etc. ) Not all reactions present the same, nor do all reactions progress the same. The severity of a prior allergic reaction is not a predictor of the severity of the next allergic reaction. A hormone called epinephrine, administered by injection, is used to treat anaphylaxis.
To determine if you or a loved one has a food allergy, diagnosis by a board certified allergist is important. Both the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) offer directories to help you locate board certified allergists.
Top allergens in the US include Egg, Fish, Milk/Dairy, Peanut, Sesame, Shellfish (crustacean), Soy, Tree Nuts, and Wheat. Based on studies published in 2018, Milk and Peanut are the most common food allergies in children, while Shellfish, Milk and Peanut are the most common food allergies in adults. It is not uncommon for adults with no prior history of allergic disease to experience the onset of a food allergy after age 18 .
When you are diagnosed with food allergy, strict avoidance of your allergens is the medical standard of care. The condition affects all aspects of your life 24:7, from navigating every moment of every day to being prepared to handle a life threatening allergic reaction when least expected. Grocery shopping, restaurant excursions, family & friend get togethers, holidays, vacation travel, school days & school transitions, childcare, milestone events, playdates— become exponentially more complicated because of the amount of planning, communication and oversight required to stay safe.
Allergy Force has innovated a food allergy app to help people with food allergies communicate their allergies to others, make informed food choices on-the-go, and correctly handle allergic reactions. With the Allergy Force food allergy app, you’re equipped to navigate life with more confidence because you're prepared for the unexpected.
Think of it as peace of mind in your pocket. On your phone. Within reach. When you need it most.
To learn more about our food allergy app, contact us today!