Most Common Food Allergies

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Food allergies are one of the most common types of allergies. According to this comprehensive
infographic, there are more than 26 million people that are allergic to foods in the US alone,
which is roughly around 9.2% of adult Americans.
There are lots of different types of food allergies, and among them, some culprits show their
names a lot more than the others. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the most
common food allergies, as well as their symptoms.

Cow’s Milk
Cow’s milk allergy is most often seen in infants or young children, especially if they were
exposed to the proteins in cow’s milk prior to being six months old. It is estimated that 2% to 3%
of babies are allergic to cow’s milk.

A lot of toddlers outgrow being allergic to cow’s milk, which is why this type of allergy isn’t that
common among adults.

The allergy can come in non-IgE and IgE forms, but the non-IgE one can be a lot harder to
diagnose since the symptoms resemble intolerance to dairy products.

IgE allergy symptoms include rashes, hives, swelling, vomiting, and while rare, it can also cause
anaphylaxis.

Non-IgE symptoms include diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, and inflammation of the gut wall.

Eggs
Egg allergy is another allergy that occurs in children. However, similar to the cow’s milk allergy,
approximately 68% of children will outgrow their allergy to eggs by the age of 16. One thing
that’s interesting about egg allergies is that some people might be allergic to egg yolks, but not
the whites, and vice versa.

The symptoms of an egg allergy include rash or hives, respiratory problems, stomach ache, and
in some rare cases, anaphylaxis.

Tree Nuts
Unlike the previous two allergies we’ve mentioned, an allergy to nuts is usually a lifelong
condition. It is estimated that tree nuts allergy affects around 1% of the US population, and
some of the tree nuts that cause an allergic reaction are pine nuts, pistachios, cashews,
almonds, walnuts, and others.

Even if you are allergic to only one type of nuts, it is often advised to avoid all other tree nuts
since being allergic to one can cause you to develop an allergy to other types as well. This is
especially important to remember because around 50% of anaphylaxis-related deaths are
caused by food-related allergies.

Therefore, if you are allergic to tree nuts, make sure to always carry an epi-pen with you at all
times.

Peanuts
Around 1% to 2% of adults and 4% to 8% of children are allergic to peanuts. While they slightly
differ from the three nuts, the chances are that those who are allergic to peanuts are often
allergic to tree nuts as well.

As is the case with tree nuts, peanut allergy can cause a severe allergic reaction that can lead
to anaphylactic shocks. However, unlike tree nuts, approximately 15% to 22% of children
outgrow peanut allergy as they enter their teenage years. Regardless, if you are allergic to
peanuts, the best would be to avoid both peanuts and peanut-containing products.

Article by: Karthik Reddy