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Most Common Food Allergies

Food allergies affect 5% of adults and 8% of children worldwide. The increasing numbers of people with allergies are becoming quite alarming. But did you know that only eight foods could trigger an allergic reaction? Most people think that there are dozens of food groups that cause allergies. You need to understand that not all of them are correct. Knowing the foods that can cause allergies is best to prevent complications and improve your eating pleasure. 


This blog post will discuss the eight most common food allergies in detail. We will also provide you with information about the risk factors involved and what you can do if you experience their signs and symptoms. 


What are Food Allergies?


Food allergies occur when your immune system gets confused and attacks healthy proteins. They react as if these proteins are harmful to your body. Your immune system’s typical response is releasing histamine, a chemical that induces inflammation.  


People with food allergies may experience adverse reactions even with minimal consumption. The signs and symptoms typically occur within a few minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the case. 


Symptoms may include these common food allergies:


  • Tongue, mouth, or face swelling
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sudden drop of blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchiness, redness of the skin
  • Hives


These symptoms range from mild to moderate, and over-the-counter medications usually take care of them. On the other hand, severe cases may cause anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. 


Important note on anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds after consuming peanuts or getting stung by a bee. The common symptoms are


  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Severe breathing difficulties


Call your doctor or dial 911 immediately when you experience these symptoms. Don’t wait for further complications. It is considered one of the most dangerous types of food allergies.

8 Food That Causes Allergies (Top Food Allergens)


1. Cow’s Milk



Babies exposed to cow’s milk protein under five months old are most likely to develop allergies. On the other hand, they typically outgrow the condition at three. The best way to manage the allergic reaction is to avoid foods and drinks like


  • Yogurt
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Margarine
  • Milk powder
  • Ice cream
  • Milk



2. Eggs



Allergies from eggs may come from egg whites or egg yolks. However, egg white proteins can trigger an allergic reaction more than egg yolks. The symptoms include food allergy symptoms like


  • Respiratory problems
  • Anaphylaxis (rare)
  • Hives or rash
  • Digestive distress, and stomach ache


The best way to prevent allergic reactions is an egg-free diet. 


3. Peanuts



Peanut allergies are common but never take them lightly. They can cause a severe allergic reaction that could be fatal. The best way to avoid allergic reactions is to avoid peanuts and food that contain peanuts altogether. 




  • Peanut butter
  • Food with peanut sauce
  • Flavorings with peanut components (ice cream, candies)

Note: Some foods exposed to peanuts in the packaging process can also cause allergic reactions. 


4. Tree Nuts



Tree nuts cause 50% of anaphylaxis-related fatalities. People with allergies to one type of tree nut should avoid all kinds to prevent complications. Tree nuts are


  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Brazil nuts


In addition, processed foods with tree nuts are bad for people with allergies. Check the food label if tree nuts are part of the ingredient.



5. Wheat



Proteins found in wheat can trigger allergies. You may experience


  • Digestive distress
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Swelling 
  • Anaphylaxis (severe cases)


Avoid food and cosmetic products that contain wheat to prevent allergies. This information is always on the package labels.



6. Soybeans



Soy contains proteins that cause allergies. It is essential to check processed food labels since soybeans are a common ingredient. The common symptoms are 


  • Itchiness and tingling sensation in the mouth
  • Runny nose 
  • Rashes
  • Asthma/breathing difficulties
  • Anaphylaxis (severe cases)


Similar to other allergies, avoidance is the key to preventing complications. Soybeans are also a common ingredient in vegan meat. Check the ingredients first before buying. In addition, some Asian cuisines have soy sauce as the main ingredient. So, ask the food server to ensure your safety. 



7. Fish



Allergies from fish typically appear later in life. Reports say that 40% of adults develop fish allergies. The primary symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Consult your doctor to determine which type of fish is safe for your allergy.



8. Shellfish



Contain tropomyosin – a protein that causes your immune system to go haywire. 


Avoid these types:


  • Scallops
  • Squid
  • Prawns
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Crayfish


Note: Vapors from cooked shellfish can also trigger a food allergy reaction


Allergic Reaction Vs. Food Intolerance


Allergic reactions are often mistaken for food intolerance. The reason is that some of the signs and symptoms are similar, like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc. 


Food intolerance facts:


  • Has nothing to do with your immune system
  • A person cannot digest food
  • It can cause discomfort, but rarely dangerous


Less Common Foods that May Trigger Allergies


Here are some of the lesser-known foods that can cause allergies:


  • Aniseed
  • Peach
  • Linseed
  • Avocado
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Passion fruit
  • Celery
  • Chamomile
  • Garlic
  • Banana
  • Mustard seeds
  • Sesame seed


Now that you know the most common allergic foods, you can avoid accidentally consuming them. Most allergic reactions come from accidental consumption. By keeping these facts in mind, you can enjoy eating the food you love without the risks.


Food Allergies? Worry No More


Food allergies are manageable and treatable. The key is proper diagnosis and evaluation. Brazos Valley Allergy and Asthma Clinics offers accurate allergy testing based on individual needs. Our allergists provide initial screening to determine the best treatment options suited for you. We have comprehensive information about food allergies based on years of research and experience. In addition, we also have allergen immunotherapy to boost your immune system against all types of major food allergens. 


If you want to learn more, you can click on this link to book an appointment. Or, you can give us a quick call to talk to our allergists. 

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