Foods That Are Big Trouble for Allergy Sufferers

Published on 1/06/2024


Allergies can turn a simple meal into a serious concern for many individuals. About 2-3% of adults and even more children experience adverse reactions to certain foods. Familiarising yourself with common allergens can be crucial, especially since the European Union mandates that 14 allergenic ingredients be declared on food labels. Let's break down these triggers:

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A popular alternative for those avoiding dairy or meat, soy products are a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. Yet, they also pose a significant allergy risk. In Germany alone, hundreds of thousands suffer from soy allergies. Recognizing the prevalence of soy allergies, the EU mandates clear labeling of soy in all food products, a practice that is becoming standard worldwide.


Fish might be packed with nutrients, but it's also a common allergen, especially among children who may be put off by its distinct taste and smell. Introducing fish slowly into a child's diet is key, but some may never grow to tolerate it. It's crucial to listen to your body's responses to fish, as allergies to it can include gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms.


Wheat is the primary culprit behind one of the most common food allergies, which often manifests as a reaction to the gluten protein found in many cereals. Unlike some allergies that children may outgrow, a wheat allergy can be a lifelong condition. Avoiding wheat and related products is essential if diagnosed by a healthcare professional.


Another pervasive allergen, especially in children, is eggs. Reactions can range from mild skin rashes to severe respiratory issues. Fortunately, many children outgrow egg allergies as they age. Until then, vigilant avoidance of eggs and products containing eggs is necessary to prevent allergic reactions.


Similar to fish, shellfish allergies are prevalent and can cause severe allergic reactions. Shellfish allergies are typically lifelong and require complete avoidance of all types of shellfish, from shrimp to lobster, as even trace amounts can trigger a reaction.


Although technically legumes, peanuts are often grouped with nuts due to their similar protein structures and potential for severe allergic reactions. Peanut allergies are among the most dangerous, with the potential to cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.


Nuts are notorious for causing severe allergic reactions. From peanuts to almonds and pistachios, the variety of nuts that can trigger allergies is vast. Symptoms might include coughing, swelling of the mucous membranes, and in severe cases, life-threatening anaphylaxis. If you notice any adverse reactions after consuming nuts, it's crucial to cut them out of your diet and consult with a healthcare provider.


Interestingly, the frequency of milk consumption can influence the likelihood of developing an allergy or lactose intolerance. For infants, breastfeeding is recommended as it has been shown to potentially reduce the risk of food intolerances later in life. However, for some, even this preventive measure might not stave off an allergy to cow's milk, which can manifest in various digestive and skin issues.