Tips to Chocolate Allergy

da88afba-840d-4912-9474-15d2391b9ece-copyPeople of all age groups love to eat chocolates. Some of us are even addicted towards it. However, there are people who cannot eat chocolates because they tend to get allergies. It can happen to both children as well as adults. Those children whose parents have chocolate allergy are at a greater risk of getting the same. In other words, it could be hereditary. Many research studies have found that people who have weak immunity are more likely to develop this allergy.

Causes
The main ingredient is cocoa which is obtained from the cocoa beans. These beans are processed by fermentation, roasting and grinding in order to prepare the chocolate that we eat. Cocoa can be responsible for allergy but it is not the only cause. There are other ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions like, milk, soy, gluten, varieties of nuts and chemicals which are used to add a specific color or flavor to the chocolate.

Symptoms
The symptoms have lots of similarities with that of other kind of food allergies. Common symptoms that are found in people after eating chocolates are as follows:

Difficulty in Breathing: It mainly happens when more than one ingredients of the chocolate is causing allergic reactions in the body. Apart from shortness of breath, people in this condition complain of dizziness, tightness in the chest, heart palpitation, stomach cramps, etc. Nausea, vomiting and wheezing sound while breathing can also be observed. If the allergic reaction affect more than one system of the body, then it can even trigger anaphylactic shock that can be fatal. In such condition, one should not even touch a piece of chocolate.

Skin Rash: Those who are highly allergic can get skin rash as soon as they take one bite of chocolate. Initially, this kind of skin eruptions occur in and around the face and neck which may later spread to other parts of the body like arms, legs and stomach.

Headache: A sharp headache can be observed in some people. The caffeine substance present in chocolate is mostly responsible for this symptom. However, it is to be noted that it requires further investigation in order to find out if the chocolate is actually responsible for causing the headache.

Confusion: When we feel depressed, we love eating chocolates as they help to lift our spirits. However, those who have chocolate allergy, it can have adverse effects on their emotions. It can make them restless and irritable. This happens because theobromine present in cocoa act as a stimulant for the nervous system which in turn makes the heart beat faster.

Heartburn: This is a minor symptom and does not cause any serious harm to your health. Usually, it is not caused by the cocoa of the chocolate. Rather, some other ingredients may trigger this kind of allergic reaction. Most people who get heartburn after having chocolates do not have to stop eating them completely.

Treatment
If any of the symptoms that are given in the previous section are observed after eating chocolate, patients should consult their doctors. They can identify the component that triggers the allergic reaction with the help of skin tests, blood tests, etc. Then suitable medicines are prescribed to the patients according to the severity of their symptoms. Antihistamines are used for treating symptoms like skin eruptions, itchiness and digestive disorders. Corticosteroids and bronchodilators are given to those who feel mild shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing as these medicines help to open up the respiratory tract. Those who have signs of anaphylaxis such as breathing difficulty, palpitation and tightness in chest should be rushed to the emergency room where an injection of epinephrine is administered for the treatment of severe allergic reaction. Once the symptoms subside, the instructions provided by the doctors should be strictly followed to prevent further occurrence of chocolate allergy.

You may not have to stop eating chocolates forever if you have allergy. Your doctor may suggest that you to eat only those chocolates that do not contain certain ingredients which can cause allergic reactions. In that case, you just have to read the label of the chocolate before buying it.

Signs Corn Allergy

Corn is widely cultivated and eaten in most parts of the world. It is used in several foods in different forms, for e.g., as cornstarch, corn syrup, cornflakes, popcorn, alcohol, etc. It may seem peculiar, but, corn is a prominent allergen that affects many people

Corn Allergy
When a person becomes allergic to corn, his body develops antibodies against corn proteins. Therefore, as soon as the person consumes corn products or even inhales corn particles or pollen, the immune system reacts against it, which gives rise to allergic reactions on the body. As corn is consumed by a large number of people, the number of corn allergy cases is increasing.

Identifying the symptoms of corn allergy is very important in order to treat and prevent it completely. The symptoms depend on the amount of corn consumed by the person and also in the form in which it was consumed. Similarly, the reactions also depend on the person’s disease fighting capacity, and hence, the intensity of the symptoms vary accordingly.

Symptoms
Symptoms of corn allergy vary from very mild to severe ones. They are also found to differ from person to person. When a person is over sensitive to corn, consuming even a small quantity of corn can result in development of symptoms.

  • Vomiting
  • Migraine headache
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling of tongue and mouth
  • Fever

Apart from these, sometimes severer symptoms are also observed. They include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Allergic asthma
  • Mood swing
  • Arthritis

Anaphylaxis is the severest symptom of corn allergy. Although a rare condition, it can be life-threatening. It can lead to impairment of several bodily functions. Anaphylaxis occurs unexpectedly and can be seen in children as well as adults. The symptoms of Anaphylaxis include:

  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness

Treatment
If one observes these symptoms, he must consult the doctor. Although it is difficult to determine whether a person is allergic to corn or not by mere blood test, the doctor may advise him to change his diet and eliminate corn completely from the diet. Anti-allergy medications are also given to for allergy relief whereas, in case of severe allergic reactions, emergency medications are used. All medication need to be taken only on consulting the doctor.

Prevention
If a person is diagnosed having an allergy to corn, he should altogether avoid eating corn, corn products and also other packaged products containing corn. Although it is difficult nowadays, most of the products contain corn as one of the key ingredient. But, you should read the ingredients before buying any products and keep a check on the intake of corn. You should avoid eating corn syrup, corn sugar, cornmeal, popcorn, grits, hominy, corn chips, cornstarch, margarine, corn fritters and corn tortillas. Similarly, creamed vegetables, salad dressing, canned mixed vegetables, muffins, pancakes, cheese spread, tacos, canned soups, chewing gum, and most of the fried foods should also be avoided as they contain corn.

You should keep a check on the foods to be eaten in order to prevent severe allergic reactions to corn. It is very essential to identify corn allergy symptoms and get the condition treated as soon as possible.

Rash from Food Allergy

Food allergies are common among many people, and even infants and children. A food allergy mainly implies a negative bodily reaction upon the consumption of a particular food. Among the various symptoms of food allergies, a skin rash is the most common. Though the sensitivity of each individual (depending on age and general bodily reactions) to different food varies, there are some common allergens that trigger a rash. Here we try to understand the types of foods that can cause an allergic reaction in the form of a rash, certain symptoms that may help you identify the allergen, and the treatment procedure for the same.

Symptoms

Now a skin rash may occur for a variety of reasons, therefore you have to keep a check on the time the skin rash appears for. A rash caused due to food allergy may lead to the symptoms of eczema or dermatitis. Some signs of such a rash are:

  • Inflamed skin
  • Skin redness
  • Itchiness, that causes the skin to thicken after scratching
  • Red bumps on different parts of the body
  • Dry skin patches
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Puffed up eyelids and swelling under eyes
  • Swollen tongue
  • Hives

Many people experience such symptoms around the mouth, namely, dry and itchy skin. This may be because, sometimes when you are eating a particular food, its contact with your mouth can cause an immediate reaction and lead to symptoms such as flaking skin and dry patches around the mouth.

Possible Foods Causing the Rash

You may find it difficult to pinpoint the food that causes the rash because the most common allergens are foods that you may consume on a daily basis. Example of such foods are:

  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Wheat (allergy from gluten)
  • Milk
  • Other dairy products
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Pork
  • Yeast (in bread and other baked goods)
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate
  • Mustard
  • Sugar
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Peas
  • Cinnamon and other spices

Sometimes exotic fruits such as kiwi, and gourmet food such as caviar may also cause a rash due to an allergic reaction.

Rashes in Children and Babies

The most common food allergens may cause rashes in babies too. However, seven particular foods have been identified as the most common culprits for this problem in them.

  • Dairy Products
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Egg whites

Another interesting finding is that, sometimes the allergens may pass on to babies through breastfeeding. In such a case, the mother should start avoiding certain foods, to be able to narrow down the food causing the allergic reaction in babies. In some cases, the introduction of solid foods may result in the outbreak of skin rashes. Therefore, it is essential that you wait for up to 6 months before introducing solid foods to them. Also, introduce these foods slowly, so you can identify the cause of the allergy. Doing so at the right age may help you prevent the allergies. Also, children may outgrow these allergies over time, however if these occur in adults then they may be permanent unless identified and treated.

Facts about Rash From Food Allergy

There are certain facts that may help you identify food allergens, and choose a suitable treatment for the same. Some of them are:

  • A rash may not always show up immediately after consuming the allergen. It may take a day, or three to four days for a rash to manifest.
  • If you are allergic to a particular food from a food group, chances are you are likely to develop a skin rash by eating other foods in the same food group. For instance, if you are allergic to milk, then you are also likely to be allergic to cheese.
  • As aforementioned, the sensitivity of each person to different food varies. While in some cases the reaction may be a mild skin rash, in others it may be a more severe outbreak of red bumps and itchiness all over the body.
  • It is important to note that if a child is allergic to one particular food, the same nutrition should be provided by other different types of foods. The food allergens should not interfere with a child’s nutritional requirements.
  • Sometimes, the amount of the allergic food you consume may determine the severity of the reaction. A minimal amount of milk may cause a different reaction than a whole glass of milk.

Treatment

As the food allergens are among foods that we consume often, it may be difficult to identify the culprit causing the allergy. However, there are still some ways of doing so, along with some tests to understand the cause of the rash.

  • Maintain a food diary. If you notice that you are experiencing a rash more often, then maintain the diary for a week, and the symptoms associated with the food you have consumed that day. This way, you will be able to understand when the symptoms were mild and when they were at their peak, depending on the amount of food you have consumed.
  • Eliminate one food from your diet at a time. For instance, don’t eat bread for four days, and see if the symptoms reduce. Then avoid milk and see if the effect is the same. This way you will be able to zero in on the food allergen. Reintroduce the suspected foods after some time and see the effect it has on the body.
  • Several skin and blood tests are also conducted to pinpoint the cause of the rash. However, these are rarely accurate. Therefore, you should opt for these tests when the elimination procedure does not work.

In rare cases, a rash from a food allergy may be very severe. In such a case, consult your doctor immediately and do not waste time over the elimination of suspected foods or food diaries. Also, if a particular healthy food is keeping you away from your necessary nutritional requirement, ensure you find a similar healthy substitute, after consulting a nutritionist.

How to overcome Alcohol Allergy

Many of us heartily enjoy alcoholic drinks. In fact, alcohol is also present in many medications, especially the ones that are used to treat cough and cold. Human beings consume alcohol in different quantities and forms and for different purposes. But did you know people can also be allergic to alcohol? Believe it when we say that alcohol allergy, though very rare, is not a myth.

Many people are astounded to hear that sometimes people are allergic to alcohol of any kind. Alcohol allergy is also known as alcohol intolerance, which is a phenomenon that is quite parallel to lactose intolerance symptoms.

Cause of Alcohol Allergy

Any food or drink that enters the digestive track is broken down into simpler substances that can be used by the human body. In such cases, the digestive system and the digestive organs produce different types of digestive juices that play a highly instrumental role in breaking down the food nutrients. Digestive enzymes are some very important digestive juices that help in breakage of food nutrients. Alcohol is chemically simplified into acetic acid, which is commonly known as vinegar, by the ‘Aldehyde Dehydrogenase’ enzyme. Alcohol in itself is a toxic substance and is capable of poisoning the body, if it is not broken down by the body into simpler substances. Some people genetically have a very rare characteristic in their digestive system. Their digestive systems simply do not produce the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase enzyme, which makes their body allergic to alcohol. In some cases the digestive system produces lesser quantities of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase enzyme. This might be treated as a curse or a blessing, but there are some alcohol intolerance symptoms which are observed.

Alcohol Allergy Symptoms

When alcohol intolerant people consume alcohol, one of the symptoms that they are bound to experience is an acute nausea. When we consume any food or drink the first action of the body is to secrete the appropriate digestive enzymes, upon the smell and sight of food. As the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase enzyme is not secreted by the body, the alcohol is treated as an alien and unwanted substance and the body tries to eject the liquid, which is the cause behind the nausea.

Minutes after the consumption, hives and rashes are also bound to appear on the skin. Other symptoms observed are, headaches, skin itching, and painful rashes. As the Aldehyde Dehydrogenase enzyme is not present in the body, the digestive system is also unable to digest or store away the alcohol. In such a scenario, the person who is allergic to alcohol, is bound to suffer from symptoms such as stomach pain, abdominal cramps, skin itching, heartburn, and a severe headache.

The next reaction of the body is to eject the alcohol from the digestive system. Hence the person allergic to alcohol suffers from acute diarrhea or vomits out the alcohol. Most of the time, this is enough to flush out the alcohol out of the body, but it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, people experience only the initial allergy symptoms, but the body does not eject the alcohol. In such a situation it is appropriate to rush to the hospital.

There are several other reasons that why people might have alcohol and wine allergies. Sometimes the reason might be an allergy to preservatives or substances that are added during brewing.