Food allergy treatment
When the symptoms are clearly identified - what is the appropriate treatment for a food allergy? The most obvious and yet challenging first step is to completely remove the food allergen(s) from the person's diet. Nutritional advisors can help to guide patients in eliminating allergen foods and providing alternatives so that the diet is varied and balanced despite the restrictions. This is particularly important in cases of an allergy to staple foods, such as cow's milk, wheat, or eggs.
Reading food labels
Patients, as well as their relatives and caregivers, need to learn to identify risky food situations, and it is essential to carefully read food ingredient lists prior to consumption. This is particularly important in cases of allergies to legumes (soy allergies, peanut allergies), which can be very dangerous.
Most food packages will also list common food allergens directly below the ingredient list.
Severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
For allergy sufferers there is a looming fear that, in the extreme case, traces of an allergen can trigger anaphylactic shock. Such traces can, for example, enter a food when they are processed in the same room with a food containing the allergen. Perhaps the smallest traces of the allergen reach a food, even without the allergen as an ingredient. References to the possibility of such traces, the so-called trace markings, are not a legal obligation and take place voluntarily. However, most food manufacturers are rather cautious here and point to allergens, even if the risk of contamination is more theoretical.
The warning on a bar of milk chocolate "may contain traces of soy and peanut" is therefore more likely a sign of caution on the part of the manufacturer than a statement as to whether the product actually contains traces of soy and peanut. If you suffer from a severe allergy and have strong symptoms even in the smallest quantities, take the "may contain traces of" warning very seriously, and, in the absence of such warning, ask the manufacturer. In the case of mild allergies which only manifest themselves when larger quantities of the allergen are consumed, the indication "traces of" can be usually be disregarded.
Do medications for food allergies exist?
The underlying causes of food allergies cannot yet be treated with medication. However, if symptoms occur, treatment with emergency medicines may be appropriate. Allergy sufferers can buy antihistamines as drops or tablets, which increase the effect of the messenger histamine. Individuals can also take cortisone as suppositories or fluids, which act as a decongestant and anti-allergen. If food allergy sufferers grapple with breathing issues, an asthma spray can be helpful. In the event of an accident, the patient may have an injection with en EpiPen, which is injected into the thigh in an emergency. The prerequisite for successful treatment with an emergency kit is, however, that affected persons and relatives know how to use it appropriately.
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