Where do I start if I think I have a food allergy?
By Melissa Milthorpe & Joshua Gaudry – Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market
Food allergies and Intolerances are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society especially in early childhood, with so much misinformation out there and so many FADs it can be hard to know where to start and what to do when we think ourselves or our children have a food allergy.
- First things first when you think you have a food allergy it is ALWAYS best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Dr Google, this article or any other internet information source is never enough to come to any definitive conclusions. With something that can have such a huge effect on your overall wellbeing it is best to have some tests done to be sure what’s going on in your body.
- Not all adverse reactions to food are food allergies and can be due to a number of other factors. In the meantime if you notice a reoccurring reaction to a certain food it may be best to temporarily eliminate that food from your diet until you have the time or means to investigate further.
- Visit your medical practitioner where they take a full medical analysis and can request testing such as:
- allergy blood test
- skin prick test,
- and/or referral to an Immunologist for further investigation and treatment where they might do an elimination diet and food challenge testing
These tests can assist with identifying exactly what you are allergic to, which will assist with your treatment and overall health outcomes. In some cases the food allergy can be out grown, whereas others require avoidance for life especially in severe cases. Luckily there are many allergy friendly alternatives, with many stores having a focus on wheat, gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free products.
Symptoms of food allergies can include but are not limited to:
- swelling of the face especially the lips and eyes,
- skin irritations such as hives, welts and eczema (rashes, itching, red, raised lumps),
- gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, chronic diarrhea,
- hay fever, asthma, inflammation of the nasal passages (excess mucus production)
- in severe and serious cases anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention and can be life threatening.
Examples of common food allergies are:
Gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shell fish, eggs, milk, soy, dairy and wheat.
Once you have a diagnosis it is recommended to come and speak with our qualified naturopaths and nutritionists for guidance and advice on how to shop with a food allergy, supplementation that may be needed including healing of the gut and more.
This article is for educational purposes only. Always seek health advice from your healthcare professional.
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