Reactions and symptoms

Many allergic reactions occur within a few minutes of exposure to the food in question. Reactions include itchy rashes that look a bit like nettle rash and swelling of lips, tongue, face, and throat, which can be dangerous if they block the airway. Abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting may occur. The most serious reactions, known as anaphylaxis, are much rarer and are most frequently found in peanut and nut allergy sufferers. They have symptoms that are widespread within the body and occur frighteningly fast.

For an allergic reaction to occur, the body has to have had previous exposure to an allergen: this can be before birth if the food is eaten during pregnancy or after birth through breast milk, or through exposure to food products in the environment. After "sensitization" - the time it takes the body to build up a dislike for the allergen - the first reaction may be from the smallest amount. From then onwards, unless a child grows out of an allergy, there will always be a reaction, but it may vary in strength and severity.

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Allergic To Everything

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