Common Food Allergies

Common food allergies are things like shellfish, peanuts, cow dairy. Here are the the following list of the top 8 common food allergies as reported from the Food and Drug Administration:

• Milk
• Eggs
• Peanuts
• Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
• Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
• Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
• Soy
• Wheat

This food list is required by law from the FDA to be listed on any food label in the United States. Many other countries have similar regulations. These foods make up an estimated 90 percent of allergic food reactions.

Common Food Allergies – Symptoms

Common food allergy symptoms can take on a whole spectrum of physical manifestations. Many people don’t realize that not all food allergies symptoms are related to a rash, swelling or digestive complaints, and that mental and emotional problems and behaviors can be related to common food allergies as well. However, according to the Mayo Clinic the following list of common food allergies symptoms affects most people:

• Tingling or itching in the mouth
• Hives, itching or eczema
• Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
• Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
• Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Common Food Allergies – Treatment

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), the best treatment for food allergies is through detection of known allergies and avoidance of allergic foods. This takes being aware of known common food allergies and altering dietary choices. Another recommendation is to carry and know how to use an epinephrine injection (aka. Epipen) if your food allergy problem is severe. Other potential treatments under investigation are:

• Oral immunotherapy
• Sublingual immunotherapy
• Chinese herbal medicine
• Anti-IgE therapy

There has been a lot of advancement in recent years with common food allergy treatment, but unfortunately over 15 million people in the United States suffer from potential life-threatening food allergies. According to ACAAI there is no absolute cure for life-threatening food allergies and that allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish can last a life time, whereas allergies to cow’s milk, eggs and soy may disappear.

Common Food Allergies – Testing

There are different tests for common food allergies. For severe reactions discussed throughout this article one needs to be tested for IgE antibodies to foods. This is best done through Food IgE serum testing and working with an allergist who can perform more specific food allergy analysis as needed. The common Comprehensive Food IgG Sensitivity test is useful for detecting common food sensitivities, but is not specific to the potential life-threatening food allergies listed above. Food sensitivities can contribute to digestive bloating, gas, constipation, loose stools, as well as headaches, body aches and pains, and even mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and cognitive issues. However, it is important to understand that for common food allergies IgE testing needs to be performed, but that IgG food reactions are much more a common occurrence that affects millions of people worldwide.

Recommended: Food Allergies in Children