It’s amazing just how many people go through life wondering why they feel a bit odd after eating a meal and never stop to think that they might be slightly allergic to one or more of the ingredients. It really helps to have a basic knowledge of the most common food allergens, referred to as the “Big 8” so that you can begin investigating if one of these foods or food groups is causing that distress. Can you identify the Big 8? If not, here’s a basic rundown to help you out.
Milk is one of the most common food allergies around the world and one of the leading allergies in infants. Although somewhere between 2% and 6% of infants show signs of allergies, the good news is that as many as 90% of them do outgrow that allergy. This allergy is the result of the body’s inability to metabolize lactose and a milk allergy is often referred to as ‘lactose intolerance.’
Peanuts are one of the leading Big 8 allergies and unfortunately for anyone who loves Thai food, it is extremely important to know that many Thai dishes contain peanuts or peanut oil. If you happen to be on a holiday in Bangkok and suddenly notice signs such as swelling of the throat, an inability to breathe, rashes or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, immediately get an allergy test Bangkok. With peanuts being a common allergen, Bangkok has extremely efficient and accurate testing for allergy sufferers.
Typically, there is a higher prevalence of fish allergies in areas where there is a higher consumption rate. It is thought that while the percentage of people is higher here than elsewhere around the world, the fact that so many people eat fish in these regions would account for this phenomenon. Typically, an allergy to fish causes gastrointestinal issues, but an extreme allergy to fish could result in anaphylaxis.
4. Crustacean Shellfish
The most common crustacean shellfish are lobster, prawns, shrimp, and crab and these are considered to be delicacies and much higher priced than fish. Perhaps this is why so many people go through much of their life not knowing they have an allergy. Symptoms vary from person to person but, as usual, severe allergies could result in anaphylaxis.
5. Tree Nuts
Tree nuts include such things as walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts and, like peanuts, many people are allergic. Nuts are perhaps the most potent of allergies and a great number of people go into anaphylactic shock when they have a severe allergy. If you are allergic, make absolutely certain the foods you eat aren’t cross-contaminated and that nothing containing nuts touches cooking utensils or plates you eat from.
As is the case with a milk allergy, many infants are likewise allergic to eggs but many will outgrow this allergy by the time they reach 6 years of age. When diagnosed with an allergy to eggs, make certain to carefully read all ingredients because eggs are found in so many products.
There is a lot of press given to gluten intolerance, so this is one of the more commonly understood food allergens. Most people are not really ‘allergic’ to wheat but if they suffer from Celiac disease, the resulting allergic reaction could be severe. Luckily, there are many gluten-free products on the market, so this is one of the easiest allergies to prevent.
While it is listed as a soybean allergy, this includes any legumes such as peas and beans. Unfortunately, legumes are very nutritious and often the food of choice for vegetarians and vegans, so this presents a really big problem for those who have an allergy.
That’s a basic rundown of the Big 8 food allergies, so if you find that you suffer gastrointestinal distress, a rash or other symptoms such as tightness in the throat, it is imperative that you seek medical attention and submit to an allergy test to determine the cause. Severe allergies can result in death, so do get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible.