Food allergy, symptoms and why it can lead to anaphylactic shock

The ranking, more or less varied and in any case to be adapted to the individual case, sees in the head cow milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, walnuts and nuts, fish and molluscs. According to scientific studies, these are the foods that most frequently trigger itching, stomach ache, respiratory problems, or the annoyances of food allergies. For some of these the risk, obviously when one is excessively sensitive, also occurs at very low doses.

It is above all children and teenagers who deal with the situation, but also among adults particularly serious forms can occur that can even lead to anaphylactic shockwith potentially very serious consequences.

Children most at risk

Food allergy it constitutes the first cause of anaphylaxis in the pediatric age. In recent years, there has been an approximately seven-fold increase in children between zero and fifteen years of age. among adults, the allergic to food components would be more or less 4%, almost half the percentage of children. What happens to someone who is allergic to food?

In practice, ingesting foods that contain an allergen to which you are hypersensitive can cause itching, redness and hives when the reaction is concentrated on the skin. If, on the other hand, the symptoms affect the respiratory tree, the typical discomfort of rhinitis such as stuffy nose or repeated sneezing, air hunger that is the daughter of asthma and edema of the glottis appear, which leads to “blocking” the possibility of breathe. Finally, we can observe the classic stomach ache with vomiting and diarrhea apparently for no reason, which justify the excessive reaction in those who manifest digestive symptoms. In short: according to the specialists we are facing a real chronic disease that can present itself with different levels of severity.

IgE-mediated food allergy, ie with a significant increase in the “wrong” immunoglobulins that cause the reaction after taking a normally harmless substance, can in fact lead to very different reactions. Of particular concern is the release of allergy mediators when it causes a truly massive reaction. In these cases it can also lead to anaphylactic shock which involves the rapid involvement of all these systems and the cardiovascular system.

For this reason, some people, at risk of serious allergic reactions, must always have life-saving drugs available, in case of consumption or accidental contact with the food responsible for sensitization. The remedy can be a simple one pre-dispensed adrenaline pen to always have with you, at school, at the gym or at work. The injection allows you to breathe again, up to the moment of help. On the prevention front, remember that the diagnosis of allergy and the consequent indications must come from a specialist, on the basis of specific tests.

Exist diagnostic tests that allow to identify the individual allergenic proteins to which patients are sensitized: this information then goes with the clinical history and any other controls. Once you know what the enemy is, avoid eating foods that contain the offending allergen, even in minimal quantities.

What if there is anaphylactic shock

Reactions to contact and ingestion with an offending food, obviously in predisposed people, can be of four types. The milder form often manifests itself as a kind of generalized urticaria with severe itching. If the picture is more severe, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a feeling of weight in the chest are also associated.

Then we arrive at the third phase, the most serious one in which the edema of the glottis (ie a sort of narrowing of the airways through which the air passes) is the cause of the major disturbances. It is difficult to breathe, much like in a very severe asthma attack, and even unable to swallow. Finally, the fourth form, which can be fatal, leads to a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and collapse. In these paintings anaphylactic shock occurs, which must be dealt with quickly with the aforementioned weapons (the adrenaline “pen”) to buy time, obviously making sure to get tailor-made help as soon as possible.

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