If you are experiencing itchiness, nausea, and rashes after being exposed to a certain food or product, you might be allergic to something. Allergic reactions are very common, but few people get a diagnosis as they are not aware that what they are experiencing can be an allergic reaction. Here are the most common types of allergies that can affect you.
While medicines can help many people manage symptoms and cure sickness, some people are actually allergic to a certain type of drug.
Common triggers of drug allergies include:
- Antibiotics with sulfonamides
- Aspirin, ibuprofen, and similar anti-inflammatory drugs
- Chemotherapy drugs
General Food Allergies
Food can also trigger allergic reactions if your body mistakes this harmless food for something that can make you sick. However, you will notice that food allergies can change depending on your age, unlike other types of allergies. For example, some kids are allergic to milk, but the symptoms decrease as they grow up.
Here are some of the most common food allergies:
Almost any type of food can trigger an allergy, but it depends on someone’s immune system. Other less common food allergies are corn, gelatin, meat, seeds, and certain spices.
Food allergy testing should be done to check if you are allergic to these foods to be more mindful of your meals in the future. For example, conducting a gluten allergy diagnosis can help you know if you are allergic to gluten and avoid food such as wheat, soy sauce, and spaghetti.
Gluten Food Intolerance
A lot of people who are allergic to wheat and soy are often also allergic or intolerant of gluten. Having a gluten allergy severely restricts your diet, and you should avoid a lot of foods to avoid triggering your allergies. While other food allergies are often specific to certain foods, having a gluten allergy means you have to avoid anything that contains gluten, including:
- Grains containing gluten such as wheat, farina, and rye.
- Most bread such as white bread, whole wheat bread, and bagels.
- Condiments such as soy sauce, gravy mixes, and ketchup.
- Wheat-based pasta.
- Snack foods such as chips, granola bars, and candy bars.
- Beverages such as beer, chocolate milk, and other drink mixes.
- Processed foods that contain gluten.
It is important if you have a gluten allergy to always check the food you are eating to see if you are allergic to it. If you are not sure about your allergy, you can contact your doctor or get a home allergy testing kit to get a gluten allergy diagnosis.
Not everyone is aware that people can also be allergic to certain insects. The allergic reaction of insects is different from the normal reaction when these insects bite or sting you.
Itching, minor swelling, and redness are often a normal reaction to an insect’s bite. However, if you are allergic, you might get skin rashes, swelling in the mouth area, wheezing, dizziness, and stomach pain. You can also experience vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating if you are exposed to the insect you are allergic to.
Other Types of Allergies
While drug and food allergies are more common, there are also other types of allergies that you should watch out for.
Affecting only less than 1% of people in the United States, latex allergy is one of the rarest types of allergens compared to others. However, while only a few people can be affected, this type of allergy is more common in the high-risk groups and should see a specialist soon to avoid certain products that may trigger their allergic reactions.
Having a latex allergy can also indicate being an allergy to certain foods that have proteins similar to those in the rubber tree sap:
You need to ask your doctor about latex allergy if you happen to be allergic to some of the fruits mentioned above.
If you are experiencing allergic symptoms without ingesting certain food or drugs, you might have a mold allergy. This allergy type is most common from July to early fall, especially if you are allergic to outdoor molds. However, there are also certain types of indoor molds that you can be allergic to and might trigger your symptoms all-year-round.
It is often easy to determine if you have a pet allergy since exposure to certain pets can trigger an allergic reaction. Some people are only allergic to a pet’s saliva or urine. However, for people who are allergic to the proteins found in a pet’s skin cells, their allergic reaction can be triggered by simply being in close proximity to an animal.
Often referred to as hay fever, pollen allergy is your immune system’s negative reaction towards pollens. This type of allergy is not only limited to flowers but also to grasses, trees, weeds, and other parts of plants that contain pollen.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
If you think that you are allergic to something, it is important to consult a doctor to get a diagnosis. To perform a food allergy diagnosis, doctors will need a sample of your blood to determine whether certain food-specific IgE antibodies are present in your body.
A skin prick test is often conducted, and the results will be provided within 15-30 minutes after testing the sample of blood. A negative test result is a signal that you are not allergic to certain allergens. However, a positive result can still be inconclusive.
The allergist will need to ask about your history and if certain food or drugs trigger an allergic reaction. To ensure that you are indeed allergic to a certain food, they might conduct a food sensitivity test to check your body’s food intolerance. This procedure is the most accurate method of diagnosing an allergy. However, it is expensive and potentially dangerous, so it is rarely performed.
How to Test for Allergies at Home
However, if you are not yet sure that you are allergic, you can take a “what am I allergic to” quizzes available online to differentiate allergic reactions from other diseases. As soon as you narrow down your possible allergens, you can buy an FDA-approved home kit for allergies to check if your body reacts negatively to certain allergens.