What Are the Most Common Food Allergies and Their Symptoms?

Food allergies occur when the body mistakes food for a harmful substance and prompts an immune reaction. These reactions can range from mild discomfort to a severe condition called anaphylactic shock, which requires prompt hospital care to counteract. Allergists have identified several food allergies that are common among both children and adults throughout the United States—keep reading to learn more about some of these common allergies and their symptoms.

Peanut Allergies

Peanut allergies are among the most common and most severe food allergies. These allergies tend to persist past childhood and into adulthood, making constant vigilance and knowledge of symptoms and treatment important for those who experience an adverse reaction to peanuts. Exposure to peanuts can cause symptoms that include a runny nose, hives, flushed or swollen skin, an itchy or tingling mouth and throat, and diarrhea, abdominal cramps, or vomiting. Severe reactions can cause tightness of the throat and wheezing or difficulty breathing that should be treated at a hospital as soon as possible.

Wheat Allergies

Wheat allergies are more common in children than adults; most individuals will outgrow a wheat allergy, though some people do not. It’s important to differentiate between wheat allergies and wheat intolerance, or celiac disease. While celiac disease can cause severe complications and health concerns over time, an acute wheat allergy will result in symptoms shortly after eating wheat that may be mild or severe and life-threatening. These symptoms include swelling of the mouth, nose, or throat, congestion, watery eyes, skin hives, abdominal cramps or vomiting, and diarrhea. Anaphylaxis due to wheat allergies can cause chest pain or tightness, trouble swallowing or breathing, a rapid pulse, and dizziness or fainting.

At Riverside Community Hospital, our goal is to promote a healthier community through education and personalized care at our hospital serving Riverside. Our hospital services include emergency care, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and women’s and children’s care. You can find out more about healthy eating and how to treat allergic reactions on our website, or speak directly with a registered nurse by calling (951) 788-3463.

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