Dip into hot salsa or spicy Indian food, and your nose starts running. Beans give you gas, or a glass of wine means a headache later. If you’re lactose intolerant, you expect diarrhea when you eat cheese or milk.
Most people have reactions to foods like these from time to time. But they’re usually food sensitivities or intolerances. They aren’t caused by your immune system.
A food allergy is
different. Your body mistakes harmless food as something that could make you
sick. When you eat something you’re allergic to, your immune system responds to
protect you. You might get a mild skin rash or itchy eyes, or you could have a
bigger reaction that leaves you gasping for breath. These reactions also affect
your weight by causing you to bloat, retain fluids and irritate your gut.
Foods That Cause Allergies
Eight things cause about 90% of food allergy reactions:
Milk (not on our program)
Peanuts (not on our program)
Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans (not on our program)
Soy (not on our program)
Wheat and other grains with gluten, including barley, rye, and oats
Less common ones include:
Corn (not on our program)
Meat — beef, chicken, mutton, and pork
Seeds, often sesame, sunflower, and poppy (not on our program)
Spices like coriander,
garlic, and mustard
Food Allergy Symptoms
An allergic reaction can happen within minutes of eating, or it may happen hours later.
Mild symptoms can be hard to tie to specific foods. You could get:
Red, swollen, dry, or itchy skin rash (hives or eczema)
Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, or a slight, dry cough
Itchy, watery, red eyes
Itchy mouth or inside your ear
Funny taste in your mouth
Upset stomach, cramps, throwing up, or diarrhea
Bloating, fluid retention and gas
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