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Is Your
Food
Making
You Sick?
From peanuts and milk to eggs and wheat,
these days it seems that many children and
adults alike are suffering from a food allergy.
HEALTH takes a closer look at why what you
are eating may be making you sick…
Defined
Most food allergies, says Fahmida Jafri,
Dietician at GMC Hospital develop early in
life while many are actually outgrown. “Food
allergies occur when your body’s immune
system reacts to a substance in a food, usually
a protein that your body sees as harmful,” she
says and this in turn, sets off a chain reaction
within your body. Symptoms can occur within
minutes and Jafri says these can range from
mild–-such as a runny nose--to severe and
even life-threatening. Not surprisingly, food
allergies, she says, are highest in infants and
toddlers. “The most common food allergies
in children are cow’s milk, eggs, soy, peanuts,
wheat, fish, shellfish and tree nuts,” she says,
while many children outgrow food allergies.
“More than 170 foods are known to cause
food allergies and these account for 90 percent
of all food-allergic reactions. “Essentially
people with food allergies or intolerances
need to avoid foods that make them sick
however navigating menu items and dishes,
where many foods include a combination
of ingredients, can be difficult,” she states as
allergy-triggering foods may be prepared on
the same counters, or with the same utensils
as non-allergy causing ingredients. Through
cross-contact, a food allergen can creep into
what may otherwise be a safe food.
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May/June 2013