What Causes Food Allergies?

McKinney and Southlake allergy causes.
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As an allergist, the key to identifying effective treatments for food allergies lies in understanding their underlying causes. The symptoms you or your child experience are actually signs of an underlying issue that must be addressed using food allergy testing and management. At our allergy treatment centers we have helped adults and children with all most common food allergies, and can shine a light on exactly what’s causing them.

What Are the Causes of Food Allergies?

To understand what causes food allergies we must first look at the immune system – the body’s natural defense against harmful substances. The immune system plays a critical role in protecting us from bacteria and viruses. However, the immune system of a person with allergies mistakenly considers specific food proteins to be harmful.

In food allergies, a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) flags certain foods as a threat. When you next eat that food, the IgE antibodies release chemicals (including histamine) that spur the allergic reaction.

The symptoms caused by histamine release include skin redness and itching caused by the expansion of small blood vessels. The increased mucus production will cause congestion or a runny nose, and tightened muscles in the airways may lead to breathing difficulties and even anaphylaxis. Make sure to read how oral immunotherapy treatment works to combat food allergies through desensitization.

What Foods Cause Allergic Reactions?

While any food can potentially cause an allergy, a limited number are responsible for the vast majority of reactions.

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Sesame
  • Wheat

The above nine foods are considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be major food allergens. Sesame is the latest food that must be disclosed on allergen food labeling when present. Because these foods are commonly found in a wide range of products, it only increases the difficulty of successfully navigating around a food allergy.

What Are the Root Causes That Lead to Allergy Development?

Though much is known about food allergies, scientific research into the reasons people develop allergies is ongoing. Genetics is one factor causing increased risk. If family members have a food allergy, you are more likely to have a food allergy as well, though the “problem food” may differ. Another factor is age, as a child is more likely to have a food allergy due to their developing immune system.

Some suspect that factors like early childhood diet and reduced exposure to certain microbes also shape our allergic responses. Theories about vitamin D and omega-3 deficiencies are also being explored, with research ongoing.

For those suffering the symptoms of a food allergy, relief is now possible with a range of proven solutions. From accurate food allergy testing procedures to innovative treatments for peanut allergies and other foods, allergy care has never been better.

Food Allergy Treatments Targeting the Cause of the Allergy

TexasAllergyMD provides safe, reliable treatments for food allergies, environmental allergies and asthma. To visit our allergy treatment centers in McKinney/Prosper and Southlake, call (469) 375-1525 or request an appointment now.

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