8 Major Food Allergies to Know About

If you ever taught school, you may have heard, Its 10 percent of the students who cause 90 percent of the problems. But who would have thought that the same applied to food? The ratio is similar: there are only eight foods that cause the greater part, up to 90 percent, of major food allergies. Because of this, its a good idea to be informed about these common and often popular foods that are on the list, especially since allergic reactions to them can be life-threatening. Knowing the foods and symptoms will keep you aware of early warning signs and progressive allergic responses.

The FDA is now required by law under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 to identify these foods as the source on ingredient labels. The law went into effect in early 2006 so any foods before that were not relabeled.


1.Milk
2.Eggs
3.Fish like bass, flounder and cod
4.Crustacean shellfish like crab, shrimp and lobster
5.Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans
6.Peanuts
7.Wheat
8.Soybeans

For example, a label prior to 2006 may have said whey on its label. As a result of that, you may have found yourself breaking out in hives over not knowing that whey is a milk byproduct. Since the law was passed to inform people with major food allergies of food they need to avoid, the label is required to have milk specifically identified like this whey (milk) or to clearly state Contains milk. And so it is with the seven other culprits of major food allergies.

Allergic symptoms usually flare up within minutes and up to two hours after eating the food that triggers the reaction. If you feel your condition worsening, go to the emergency room. Allergic reactions include: Cramps Vomiting or diarrhea Hives Flushed skin or rash Coughing Difficulty breathing Dizziness Loss of consciousness Swelling in your throat Itching or swelling around your face, mouth or tongue When you suspect you have a major food allergy, read labels and avoid the food you think is causing the reaction. Keep in mind that other foods besides the ones listed here can be allergenic. Make an appointment with your doctor to identify the problem food since reactions can get worse over time. And if you know you have a major food allergy and start experiencing symptoms, initiate action if your doctor has given you a treatment for the allergy or go to the emergency room immediately.  
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