Top 5 Most Common Allergies

It’s possible to develop an allergy to almost any kind of external stimuli.

Whilst allergens such as animal hair or hay fever can generally be avoided once they’re acknowledged, the most common allergens tend to hide where we least expect them: in our food!

Having an allergy to a particular ingredient or food stuff can make fun activities like organising dinner parties or going out to eat a real chore. If reactions to allergens are extreme (as is the case with coeliacs who are exposed to gluten) then it can be really tough to enjoy food without the constant fear that a nasty reaction is just around the corner.

Cow’s Milk

Lactose intolerance is frequently listed as one of the most common allergies to be discovered, especially when it comes to babies and young children. Some young children under the age of three might only struggle with this condition temporarily, as around 90% outgrow the condition. However, those that keep the condition must spend the rest of their lives being careful as to what they will be eating.

Eggs

Similar to Cow’s Milk, it can be very difficult to avoid consuming food that contains egg. Symptoms of an allergy to egg include digestive problems, stomach ache and even skin reactions. In the worst of cases, an allergy to eggs can cause respiratory problems and anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). It’s the proteins in the yolk and whites of the egg that cause the reaction; it can even be possible to be allergic to the yolk, but not the white and vice versa.

Tree Nuts

Nut allergies are one of the first allergens that were properly researched and identified, as such much more is known about these conditions. Although allergy sufferers might only be allergic to one particular kind of tree nut (a brazil nut, for example) they’re often recommended by their physician to avoid all contact with any other kind of tree nuts, including: almonds, cashews, walnuts and pine nuts. Symptoms of a reaction can often be extreme, causing the body to initiate it’s ‘fight or flight’ response and leading to the sufferer hyper-ventilating.

Peanuts

Thanks to the misjudged, early discovery of the peanut, it’s often lumped into the same category as the above tree nuts, however as peanuts are a legume the reaction can often be whole lot different. 4-8% of people in the world are estimated to be allergic to peanuts, with symptoms ranging from rashes to death. Sufferers are usually recommended to avoid all types of nuts, just in case. Allergies can often be so adverse that extreme caution is advised to sufferers who carry epipens on their person at all time.

Shellfish

Shellfish such as shrimp, prawns, crayfish, lobster and squid can all cause serious reactions to allergy sufferers. The most common trigger for this reaction is a protein that goes by the name of tropomyosin. The reaction that a person experiences will usually be instantaneous and can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, followed by violent vomiting and diarrhoea.

Unfortunately, due to the unpredictable nature of seafood, it can often be difficult to discern between an allergic reaction to sea food and a negative reaction to other contaminants that lie dormant, such as bacteria or parasites.