Food allergy is another “cross” of our time, acquired along with the dubious benefits of civilization. Previously, this attack was less common and overcame mainly children who were intemperate for oranges and chocolate. Itchy rashes on children’s cheeks were called diathesis and safely disappeared along with other baby problems. But in our time of the notorious bad ecology and rampant poor health, an allergy to everything and everyone has become a serious problem for both children and adults. From harmless pimples to death – such is the spectrum of its consequences at very different ages.
Our whole life, filled with exposure to household, chemical, industrial, medicinal allergens, contributes to the formation of a state of constant allergic “readiness” of the body. Including food allergies. Especially potentially dangerous is the time from May to October. Firstly, at this time everything blooms violently. An allergy to pollen, poplar fluff and other spring-summer joys may well join food allergies. And then go and figure out what gave the reaction – a flower sniffed with delight or an omelette eaten at breakfast. And secondly, the abundance of the gifts of nature inflicts a powerful blow to the immune system, often awakening allergies even where it never happened. This is especially dangerous in our lane, where the inhabitants, yearning for vitamins for a long winter, are ready to absorb fruits and vegetables literally in kilograms and buckets.
Treatment of allergies and especially their diagnosis is a very difficult task. A food allergy in this sense is the simplest case. After all, we are not always able to recognize microscopic allergen molecules in the inhaled air or clothing fabrics. It is also difficult to completely protect yourself from contact with them. But it is easier to control what exactly we eat. Therefore, food allergy – the only one of the entire sad family of this disease – can be cured by proper nutrition alone. Or, in extreme cases, its sad consequences can be reduced to a safe minimum.
It is not difficult to defeat the disease if you know exactly what substance causes an allergic reaction in you. It (and products containing it) should simply be excluded from the diet. But the insidiousness of food allergies is that it is far from always possible to say with certainty which product it is caused by. The fact is that the reaction of the body to allergens is of two types: immediate and delayed.
Immediate manifests itself on the very first day, literally a few hours and even minutes after eating, severe itching, burning, fever and other classic symptoms begin. In this case, it is easy to determine the allergen – down with this wonderful exotic fruit and that’s it. A delayed allergic reaction is less common and occurs two to three, or even five days after ingestion of the allergen. So it is much more difficult to identify its causes.
If you contact a specialist, you will be given a series of tests that will help doctors first narrow down the “black list” of possible culprits of your illness to a certain category (proteins, essential oils, etc.), and then identify a specific substance. However, for this you will probably be offered a long (up to several months) inpatient stay in special sterile conditions of the hospital, which few people like and can afford. In addition, not all cities have such sterile departments, ready to carefully study the vagaries of your body.
To determine the “culprit” on your own and at home, without stopping the normal course of life, conduct an investigation personally. First, read the bitter experience of your relatives: after all, an allergy to a particular product, as a rule, belongs to “family values”. Here is a list of potentially dangerous foods that mankind has noticed in connection with allergies:
However, do not be alarmed: your personal “hardships” will be much more modest. Usually, one person has a reaction to only one or two types of allergens from the entire extensive list above. Yes, and those dishes that you noticed in a malicious effect on the body, with some features of the preparation, can become quite acceptable. So, if a person is allergic to chicken eggs, then the culprit is egg white. Therefore, the yolks, and even more so chicken meat and broth, are already well tolerated. But your favorite creamy cake, replete with whipped proteins (which you, of course, do not suspect), will cause severe allergies.
Secondly, you will have to be astute to predict the presence of your allergen in a wide variety of foods. After all, even the microscopic presence of the allergen itself can poison life. For example, even a bar of milk chocolate can give a reaction to cow’s milk protein. Why, sometimes just the smell or even the sight of an allergenic product (especially fish or eggs) is enough to cause a strong reaction. But, of course, this is already from the field of psychology. And sometimes, along with an allergist, it would be nice to visit a psychotherapist to convince your body to stop such violent reactions.
So, eliminate all “suspicious” foods from your diet for about a week. If after a week of “abstinence” the allergic reaction has stopped, then their culprit fell into the group of excluded products. (Provided that at that time you did not “suppress” your allergies with medicines.) After that, enter one of the “suspected” products into the menu. If no reaction occurs within 3-5 days, introduce the next product, and so on until one fine day after the introduction of the next product you have an allergy and you are sure of its source. So you figured out the allergen. This, however, may take several weeks. But by calculating “your” allergen and eliminating it from the diet, you can solve the problem of food allergies for yourself forever.
PS: It is useful to know that with prolonged heat treatment of products (within 30 minutes – up to 120 degrees) or with prolonged boiling, allergenic factors are significantly reduced or disappear altogether.