Food allergies manifest when the immune system overreacts to ingesting certain foods. In the most common allergies, it creates antibodies called histamines during exposure, and the symptoms manifest very quickly after consumption.
Symptoms that may occur are:
- red patches of skin and its irritation;
- the cracks;
- respiratory difficulties;
- choking sensation;
- anaphylaxis - a severe reaction that endangers the life of allergic people.
The most common food allergies are caused by the following food:
Cross-reactivity occurs when proteins in one food are similar to those in another. As a result, the immune system perceives them as identical and reacts accordingly.
Due to cross-reactivity, the correct diagnosis of allergies can become a real challenge. Laboratory blood tests may indicate only one of the substances to which the patient, adult or child, is allergic. The lack of accuracy is also valid for skin tests.
The most common allergenic foods and their compatibilities
Cross-reactivity may occur in dairy products. Thus, if your son or daughter is allergic to cow's milk, it may also be to milk from other mammals, such as sheep or goats. While the risks for sheep milk are 90%, the risk from animals such as rabbits or donkeys is much safer.
But the same is not necessarily true for foods from the same group of animals. Thus, if a person is allergic to cow's milk, he has no restriction on eating veal, just as even people allergic to eggs do not show symptoms when consuming poultry.
Hazelnuts and soy they belong to the same family, which also includes beans and lentils. Over 50% of children diagnosed with peanut allergy are allergic to soy or beans. They have a 5% chance of suffering from allergies to soy or other vegetables, but 95% of them can tolerate them without problems, and the chances of being allergic and nuts are 35%.
Hazelnuts are vegetables, not part of the nuts category (almonds, nuts, cashews, etc.), but their allergenic proteins are similar, and this is the cause of cross-reactivity.
The same applies to peanuts and certain seeds, such as sesame seeds. In terms of cross-reactivity between several types of nuts, most people who are allergic to one type do not have allergic reactions to the other.
In fish allergy, 50% of allergy sufferers in one species are likely to experience allergic symptoms in other species, whether freshwater or oceanic. In crustaceans, cross-reactivity is very common; the risks as an allergic person to shrimp, for example, to manifest symptoms at crab, lobster or shells they are 75%.
Children and adults who suffer from allergic rhinitis or hay fever can also show symptoms after eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts or seeds containing proteins that may have cross-reactivity with pollen.
This condition is known as oral allergy syndrome. The risks of anaphylaxis in such cases are only 3%. Most of the time, consuming these thermally prepared foods may not cause any reaction.
Latex allergic people are predisposed, in the proportion of 30 to 50%, to exhibit crossed symptoms when consuming fruits and vegetables such as bananas, avocados, kiwifruit or chestnuts. However, the most common reactions are strictly related to contact sensitivity.
Cross-reactivity: how do you reduce risks?
In the case of cross-reactivity to allergenic foods, the risks can be reduced by clinical testing to determine all compounds that cause symptoms.
A correct and complete diagnosis can provide you with valuable information about the foods you need to eliminate from your diet. Also after a medical check you can find out if these allergies have to do with other medical conditions such as bronchial asthma, eczema or immunological reactions.
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