6 Myths About Food Allergies You Should Know

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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With food allergies being increasingly common, people are getting more aware of them. Although the needed education and recognition are rapidly rising, there also exist misconceptions about food allergies. These myths are to be blamed if you still believe allergies are less severe phenomena that can be treated at home. Please stop by, and get to know a few myths about food allergies, which we have busted for you.

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Myth 1

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Myth 1: Food Allergy Is Not Serious

Fact: Food allergies have mostly been depicted with symptoms like itching, rashes, swelling of the face, etc., but it is not always the case. Food allergies can sometimes result in a fatal condition called anaphylaxis, making it difficult for the person to breathe. Epinephrine is a drug used in the treatment of anaphylaxis. If you are prone to anaphylaxis, the doctor recommends always carrying a self-injectable Epinephrine pen with you. Even after taking Epinephrine, reach out to a nearby hospital as anaphylactic symptoms can pop up anytime.

Myth 2

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Myth 2: Food Allergies Are Infrequent

Fact: Many people believe getting a food allergy is rare. In contrast, food allergies are ranked sixth among the important causes of chronic medical illness in the United States. Further, reports state that about 3 to 4% of adults and 5 to 6% of kids suffer from food allergies.

 
 

Myth 3

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Myth 3: Eating a Small Amount of Allergen Is Not a Problem

Fact: Allergen, if taken in minimal amounts, does not cause an allergic reaction is a misconception. Whatever be the quantity, a potential allergen is sure to result in an allergic reaction. To be on the safer side, completely avoid the intake of the allergen, even in trace amounts. Also, avoid cross-contact of safe food with the allergen, as this may also result in food allergies.

Myth 4

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Myth 4: Mild Allergic Reactions Means Mild Food Allergy

Fact: There is nothing like a mild food allergy or severe food allergy, and only the symptoms that develop due to an allergic reaction range from mild to severe. You should not consume food that has previously caused a mild allergic response believing that it will cause the same effect. Food that once has caused a mild reaction is also prone to cause a severe allergic reaction in the future. Be always cautious and prevent allergic reactions.

Myth 5

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Myth 5: Food Allergies and Food Intolerances Are the Same

Fact: Significant uncertainty exists between food allergies and food intolerances. Are they the same? No. Food intolerance just causes discomfort and is not accompanied by severe effects. On the other hand, food allergies are our immune system’s response to the foods consumed and can cause severe reactions, even life-threatening ones.

Myth 6

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Myth 6: Allergies Cannot Be Outgrown

Fact: Some children do outgrow allergies that they had previously. More than half of the kids who had allergies to milk, eggs, and soy can become non-allergic to it after a certain period, say 14 years.

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