You may have a food allergy and not even know it. Depending on your sensitivity, some food allergy symptoms often mimic other conditions. If you already have allergies, then you may not realize that some of your symptoms are related to the food you eat. Here are some of the most common food allergy reactions and how to tell if they are related to food or something else.
Gastrointestinal, or stomach issues, may occur from time to time. Food allergies frequently cause nausea, vomiting, and cramps, but so do a lot of other health conditions. However, with food allergies, these symptoms are severe and often accompanied by other allergic symptoms.
Food allergies often cause nasal congestion, trouble breathing, and worsened asthma. You may also experience throat closing and trouble swallowing. If you already have nasal allergies, then you will notice that they flare up more after you eat certain foods.
Hives and Skin Problems
Hives often appear shortly after exposure to a food allergen but may disappear later. Sometimes, you don't get hives, but you do get increased skin irritation, especially in and around the mouth after eating an offending food. Your lips may also swell up and feel sore.
While many people associate hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, with diabetes, food allergies can also cause a drop in blood sugar. Food allergies cause what is known as reactive hypoglycemia, and this usually involves a sudden drop in blood sugar some time after you eat certain foods.
Food allergens can trigger a drop in blood pressure large enough to cause lightheadedness and an overall faint feeling. You will also have a noticeable headache at the same time. Often, this symptom is accompanied by other allergic symptoms.
In addition to causing blood pressure problems, your heart may also be affected. Shortly after eating food that you are allergic to, you may experience an increased heart rate and possibly even an arrhythmia that eventually stabilizes later.
While anxiety is caused by a wide variety of issues, if you notice them not long after you eat, then you could be having a reaction to your food. Food allergies increase inflammation and that has a profound effect on your brain. This inflammation may also contribute to emotional and behavioral problems.
If you suspect that you have a food allergy, then see if eliminating that particular food for a short time alleviates your symptoms. An allergist can also test you to see if you have certain food sensitivities either through a blood or skin test. Then, you can get treatment and guidance for keeping your food allergies under control.
For more information about food allergy treatment, contact an allergist near you.