Physical Effects of Food Allergies Elijah C

Physical Effects of Food Allergies
Elijah C. AgawinGrade 10- Einstein
A mini-thesis submitted to Ms. Gabriele Louise D. Recto
Food Allergy
is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways.

Food Intolerance
is sometimes confused with or mislabeled as a food allergy. Food intolerances involve the digestive system. Food allergies involve the immune system. With a food allergy, even a microscopic amount of the food has the potential to lead to a serious or life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

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Anaphylaxis
is a severe, whole-body allergic reaction to a chemical that has become an allergen. An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction.  It is an acute allergic reaction to an antigen (e.g., a bee sting) to which the body has become hypersensitive.

Nausea
a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit.  It is a non-specific symptom, which means that it has many possible causes. Some common causes of nausea are motion sickness, dizziness, migraine, fainting, gastroenteritis (stomach infection) or food poisoning.

Vomiting
eject matter from the stomach through the mouth. It is the act of emptying the contents of the stomach through the mouth.

Cramping
a painful involuntary spasmodic contraction of a muscle. It is a sudden painful tightening in a muscle, often after a lot of exercise, that limits movement.

Diarrheaa condition in which feces are discharged from the bowels frequently and in a liquid form. It occurs when a person suffers from repeated bowel movements which are loose and watery. It’s a very common condition and is not considered to be serious.

Skin prick test 
diluted foods are placed on the patient’s arm, and then the skin is pierced, introducing the food into the system. If there is any reaction, such as itching, swelling, or redness, it is likely there is some kind of allergy.

Blood test 
a patient’s blood is drawn to check for IgE antibodies that are specific to certain food proteins.

Elimination diet
suspected foods are not eaten for 4-6 weeks, typically, to see whether symptoms clear up. They are then reintroduced to see whether symptoms return.

Food diary
patients write down everything they eat and describe symptoms if they occur.

Physician-supervised blinded oral food challenge
this is more accurate. The patient is given several different foods. One of them has tiny amounts of the suspected allergen. The patient eats each one, and their reaction is observed closely.

Family history
scientists believe that some food allergies could be caused by genes people inherit from their parents. For instance, people who have a parent or sibling with a peanut allergy have a 7 times higher risk of having that allergy themselves compared with those with no family history.

Other allergies
those who have asthma or atopic dermatitis have a considerably higher risk of developing a food allergy than people with no other allergies.

Early years
research has also shown that babies born by cesarean section, who were given antibiotics at birth or within the first year of life, and those who had food introduced late, after 7 months, all had higher risks of allergies.

Gut bacteria 
recent research shows that the gut bacteria in adults with nut and seasonal allergies is altered. Specifically, they have higher levels of bacteroidales and lower levels of Clostridiales strains. Scientists are trying to determine if influencing gut bacteria could help treat or prevent allergies.

Diet
some scientists suggest changes in eating habits in Western nations may be the cause, while others say it could be due to a lower consumption of animal fats and higher intake of vegetable fats.

Pesticides and genetically modified foods
some believe that high exposure to pesticide residues and consumption of genetically modified foods affects immune system function during development in utero and also as people age.

Antioxidants
most people eat less fresh fruit and vegetables than those of previous generations (foods high in antioxidants, which help protect against cell damage); perhaps a lower antioxidant intake during childhood undermines proper immune system development.

Vitamin D
food allergy prevalence is higher in countries further from the equator, where there is less sunlight, an important source of vitamin D. The suggestion is that low vitamin D intake may result in a higher food allergy risk.

Lack of early exposure 
also known as the hygiene hypothesis. Children are being brought up in super-sterile environments, with much lower exposure to germs than their parents were. 
Elimination diet
many patients will need to see a dietitian after being diagnosed with a food allergy. It is important if food needs to be eliminated from one’s diet, that it is done in a way that does not undermine the individual’s health.

Antihistamines
these will come in the form of gels, liquids, or tablets. They are usually effective for patients with mild or moderate allergies. Histamines are chemicals which cause most allergy symptoms, and antihistamines block their effects.

Epinephrine (adrenaline)
this is used by individuals who have food allergies that may result in anaphylaxis. Epinephrine keeps blood pressure up by constricting blood vessels, as well as easing the airways.

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