Over 200,000 emergency room visits every year are caused by allergic reactions to food. An estimated 15 million Americans have some form of food allergy, the symptoms of which can vary from an itchy mouth to potentially deadly anaphylaxis. Other signs of an allergic reaction include rashes, breathing issues, intestinal discomfort, and circulation problems.
"Allergies to anything can occur at any age," says Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, author of Food Allergies: A Complete Guide to Eating When Your Life Depends on It. So when you suspect you are having an allergic reaction to something you ate – even if you've eaten it before without issue – you should talk with your doctor. If you find you aren't sure what is causing an allergy, look to the ten foods listed here. After all, some 90 percent of allergies are caused by just a handful of products – milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
Allergy to cow's milk is the most common food allergy among infants and young children, affecting about 2.5 percent of kids under the age of three. Milk allergy is not the same as being lactose intolerant. The two conditions aren't even related. Lactose intolerance means that a person has a hard time digesting the sugar that's in milk. A milk allergy (like all allergies) is an overreaction of the immune system in response to protein and it can be deadly. Most children eventually outgrow their milk allergy but blood tests that measure the presence of milk antibodies can be used to check.
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