When you react violently to a certain food, we recommend not to experiment with omitting or using certain foods yourself. The best thing is to go to the doctor. He can determine whether it is an allergic reaction or intolerance and then refer you to a dietician.
Food hypersensitivity is the umbrella term for food allergy and intolerance.
If you have a food allergy, your immune system reacts to certain substances in your food. The immune system makes antibodies against proteins that occur in the diet. Proteins that can cause allergic reactions are called allergens. Known allergens are certain proteins in cow's milk or nuts.
The body can react to certain foods without having an allergy. This is a non-allergic food hypersensitivity. We call that intolerance. Think, for example, of lactose intolerance. In addition, people cannot digest the substance lactose properly. The substances that cause the symptoms in the event of intolerance are called ‘triggers’. These triggers occur naturally in foods such as lactose. They can also be added to foods, such as the preservative sulphite.
Read more about:
Estimates of how often food hypersensitivity, food allergy and food intolerance occur often come to 1 to 4%.
For children, higher estimates are often given, around 4 to 6%. Children who have a cow's milk allergy in their infancy usually grow over it.
You may have a genetic predisposition to an allergy or intolerance. Then you are more likely to get an allergy or intolerance. By hereditary predisposition we mean that you have at least one parent or brother or sister with a proven food allergy or intolerance.
It is not easy to determine food hypersensitivity. The symptoms can be very different and vary from person to person. In addition, the complaints may also have other causes.
The symptoms of food hypersensitivity vary greatly. Skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal complaints are particularly common. Many of these complaints can also have other causes. It is therefore important that the doctor excludes all other possible causes.
Sometimes it is immediately obvious that a specific food is the cause of the complaints. More research is not necessary in this case.
Examples of symptoms of allergy and intolerance may include:
Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening situation caused by an allergic reaction in the body. It can be the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods such as peanut or sesame, but medicines or wasp stings can also cause anaphylactic shock. If you don't intervene in time, it could be fatal.
The symptoms of anaphylactic shock can develop within a few minutes and sometimes last for hours. If it is not treated properly, shock may occur again after 6 to 8 hours. The sooner the symptoms develop, the more severe the reaction is usually.
One of the first signs of shock is a tingling sensation, itching or a metallic taste in the mouth. This is often followed by the following symptoms, which can also occur at the same time:
The most important substance released in an allergic reaction is histamine. This substance causes the blood vessels to widen. In the event of a violent reaction, the blood pressure can drop so much that you become unconscious. An asthma attack is also possible at the same time.
Anaphylactic shock requires an adrenaline injection to stop the reaction. Patients who are more likely to experience shock have adrenaline with them. In case of shock, the patient should be given the injection as soon as possible, whether or not by a doctor or ambulance staff. It is advisable to lay the patient flat on the back, with the feet up and to loosen tight clothing such as a tie.
Anaphylactic shock usually occurs as a result of a previously developed allergy. It is unlikely that a food that you could eat without problems at first suddenly causes anaphylactic shock. In most cases, previous allergic signs such as itching in the mouth or skin complaints have not been noticed.
For example, if you are allergic to shrimp, you may also react to crab. This is because the allergens in these foods are very similar. When this happens, we call it a cross-reaction.
Cross-reactions may occur not only between foods. With hay fever, you are allergic to certain pollen from trees, plants or grasses. Sometimes hay fever can also cause allergic reactions when eating certain products. That's what we call cross-reactions. Presumably this is because certain allergens in food and in pollen are related to each other.
The following overview shows the most well-known cross-reactions between pollen and plant-based foods. Not all of the cross-reactions mentioned occur equally frequently. Some cross-reactions are truly exceptional.
|In case of allergy for:||Possible cross-reactions to:|
|Grass pollen. Flowering season: from April to mid-October, depending on the type of grass.||Potato, wheat, tomato, peanut, buckwheat.|
|Mugwort pollen (Artemisia Vulgaris). Flowering season: August.||Garden herbs and spices of the Umbelliferae family (aniseed, chervil, dill, caraway, coriander, parsnip, carrot, parsley, celery, fennel).|
|Birch pollen. Flowering season: from April to May.||Fruits of the family Rosaceae (strawberry, almond, apricot, apple, blackberry, raspberry, cherry, nectarine, pear, peach, plum, blackcurrant). Nuts, especially hazelnut. Carrot, celery, potato.|
|Timothy grass pollen. Flowering season: from May to September.||Potato, apple, carrot, celery.|
In addition to the above-mentioned cross-reactions, cross-reactions can also occur with other allergies. Below is an overview:
|In case of allergy for:||Possible cross-reactions to:|
|Bird poop, bird feathers||Chicken egg protein|
|Dog and cat skin flakes||Pigmeat|
|House dust mites||Vineyard snails and shrimps|
|Latex (rubber tree juice)||Banana, avocado, chestnut, melon, kiwi, buckwheat|
By inhaling proteins from bird droppings when cleaning the bird cage, for example, someone may become hypersensitive to chicken egg protein. This is called Bird-Egg-Syndrome.
Do you notice yourself reacting violently to a certain food? We recommend that you do not experiment with omitting or using certain foods yourself.
The best thing is to go to the doctor. He can determine whether it is an allergic reaction or intolerance and then refer you to a dietician. The dietician will look for the cause of the complaints together with you. He or she can give you advice on how to prevent allergic reactions. This will give you advice on how to avoid certain foods without a shortage of nutrients.
Allergy prevention focuses on preventing or delaying an allergy. Children have an increased risk of allergy if at least 1 of the parents or 1 of the older children in a family have an allergy, such as hay fever, asthma or a food allergy.
It is advisable to explain to the teachers about the allergy or intolerance and the foods involved. Some tips:
European legislation requires catering establishments to provide information about allergens when they are used in the preparation of the product or dish. To avoid misunderstandings, it is wise to consult with the cook well before the planned dinner and to go through the menu. On the website of Stichting Voedselallergie you will find all kinds of tips about eating out with a food allergy and reviews from restaurants.
The general practitioner or specialist may, if necessary, give advice when completing the European Medical Passport and the alarm aids.