Food allergy reactions can range from the mild to the extremely severe, and in certain cases the life of the patient can even be put at risk. The reactions stem in the first place from a mistaken belief by the human immune system that the food protein which is being reacted to represents some kind of threat. One of the survival mechanisms which the human body constantly uses is that of increased eliminatory activity when a foreign substance is identified. If there is a genuine threat to survival, the body can release sweat, excretory material, or vomit until the threat is eliminated.
The problem with an allergy is that the body triggers the same type of response in a situation where such a response is totally unwarranted, where the substance which has been taken in is nothing more than a simple food product. Exactly why the human body should mistakenly identify a food product as a poison and a potential threat is not known, but the reaction is real and needs to be dealt with as a serious problem.
The first and most obvious solution to allergic reactions is to avoid the food which causes them completely, but even that can be more difficult than it sounds. Firstly, you need to know exactly which substance is causing the allergic reaction, and this can take a long time to determine. Various blood tests can be used to identify which substances the body is producing to deal with the imagined threat, and this can give some clues as to the substance which needs to be eliminated. In the end, though, only a long period of eliminating foods one by one and noting the results will give you a definitive answer.
It is also vital to notice how the body is being affected, as this can provide a clue as to how the condition can be treated. One of the most common symptoms is a rash on the skin, caused by the body’s panicked quest to remove what it believes to be toxins from the body. A more extreme version of the same thing is hives, and these appear very similar to insect bites. There are other factors which can cause these skin reactions, so don’t automatically assume you have a food allergy.
If you live with a food allergy sufferer, it is vital that you are able to recognize the food allergy reactions which could mean that emergency help is needed. Not every food allergy is serious enough to need emergency help, but all will need attention of some kind. If you are living with someone whose allergy is so serious that they would need emergency attention if it was triggered, make sure that you are able to deal with the situation. If there is any emergency first aid you can apply yourself while you are waiting for assistance, make sure you know about it and are practiced at it.
The emergency treatments which can be applied to a food allergy reaction will depend on what the symptoms are, and what the patient’s most immediate needs are. The most common urgent need is when the breath is threatened during an exceptionally violent reaction. This can be frightening to witness and is only really treatable by trained staff with medical equipment. A patient’s life can be in danger unless the air flow can be maintained. Treatments for other reactions will rarely be as urgent or as critical in the way they are performed.
It is difficult to say what can be done in the future to make food allergy reactions less severe. Once the allergen has been identified by the body, there is little that can be done but to wait out the reaction. The body will need emergency care if breathing is threatened. The best hope for the future is that the reaction can be prevented from occurring in the first place. There are eminent scientists in the world today who believe that it is possible to develop vaccines which will be effective against food allergies, and which will prevent the body from reacting to substances which it should consider to be harmless. Whether this happens, or to what extent, remains to be seen.
If your food allergy reactions are extreme, you will need to find out the cause of the symptoms as quickly as possible. This will involve having a blood test to at least narrow down the possibilities as to the foods which could be causing the problem. It will be vital to eat a bland diet until the results of this test are in, at which time you will need to introduce very small portions of the suspected foods one by one, until you can identify which food is causing the food allergy reactions.