A Food Allergy is an unpleasant, uncomfortable and at times serious and life-threatening specific IgE-mediated immune related response (allergic reaction) caused due to certain food substances.
There are several food allergies, and even the tiniest amount of the allergic substance can trigger symptoms that impact a lot of people, from birth to adulthood. There are no known cures for food allergies; however, in some instances, people can outgrow their allergies or be desensitised through Immunotherapy.
In instances where the reaction due to food substances affects a person's digestive system instead of their immune system, this is not considered a Food Allergy but known as a Food Intolerance. A Food Intolerance can be uncomfortable and distressing but is not life-threatening.
And where the reaction occurs where the body's immune system attacks healthy cells in its own body, this is known as an Autoimmune Condition. Autoimmune Conditions can be distressing and, if untreated, can be life threatening.
Below is a collective list of the most common food allergies, which are placed into groups based on the substances that cause reactions and how they are connected. For instance, a Peanut Allergy is placed under Legumes which is the family they come from. There are also related food intolerances and autoimmune conditions below.
MILK (DAIRY) ALLERGY / LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Dairy refers to Milk from cows and other mammals. Lactose can be found in Milk and Dairy products.
Both Milk (Dairy) and Lactose bring their fair share of difficulties with different severities related to allergies and intolerances.
However, a Lactose Intolerance is not to be confused with a Milk (Dairy) Allergy.
WHEAT ALLERGY / GLUTEN INTOLERANCE / COELIAC DISEASE
A Wheat Allergy is an immune response from consuming, contacting or inhaling substances containing the proteins found in Wheat.
A Gluten intolerance (also sometimes referred to as a Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity) is a non-immune related reaction to GlutenGluten is primarily made up of two different types (classes) of proteins, 'gliadin' and 'glutenin' found in foods made from grains that contain Gluten.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system reacts abnormally to Gluten, which results in small intestine damage due to the protein 'gliadin.'
Have you heard of any of the below grains that contain Gluten?
• Wheat • Barley • Rye • Triticale • Farina • Spelt • Kamut • Wheat Berries • Farro • Couscous •
Peanuts aren't Botanical Nuts and are Legumes, which are seeds that grow underground belonging to the legume family.
In fact there are many Legumes that can be allergens, that we come across on a daily basis, which include Soy, Chickpeas, Lentils and Lupin. It's a large food allergy group just on its own!
Accounting for 25% of primary crop production worldwide, Legumes are highly nutritious but also account for causing some of the most severe food allergies.
Have you heard of the below Legumes that may cause allergic reactions?
• Peanuts • Soya (Soy) Bean • Beans • Peas • Lentils • Lupin • Chickpeas • Green peas • Black-eyed peas • Kidney beans • Haricot beans (Navy beans) • Adzuki beans • Butter beans (Lima beans) • Broad beans (Fava beans) • Fenugreek • Cannellini beans • Flageolet beans • Pinto beans • Borlotti beans • Mange-tout • Tamarind •
TREE NUT ALLERGIES
Tree Nuts, as their name states, grow on trees. Another large allergy group containing substances that can cause allergic reactions, people may have a Tree Nut Allergy to a single Tree Nut or multiple Tree Nuts.
Tree Nuts do not include Peanuts (Legumes), Coconuts (Fruits) or Sesame (Seeds), which are often misidentified as a Tree Nut.
As a group, Tree Nuts are one of the 10 most common food allergens in Australia. Food allergens account for 90% of allergies in Australia.
Have you heard of the below Tree Nuts that may cause allergic reactions?
• Cashews • Pistachios • Hazelnuts • Walnuts • Pecans • Almonds • Brazil Nuts • Pine Nuts • Macadamia Nuts • Chestnuts • Hickory Nuts
Due to their nutritional benefits, low-cost and flexibility, Eggs are frequently used in many foods, whether as an ingredient, binder, addition or eaten whole.
Eggs can also be found in non-food products such as glue, conditioners and vaccines.
All types of fish can cause allergic reactions, regardless if they are consumed whole, as an ingredient or as a condiment.
There are two main fish groups that can cause allergic reactions. They are Shellfish (Crustaceans, Mollusks) and Finned Fish.
Shellfish and Finned Fish are not the same, with the most distinct feature difference being that Shellfish have shells instead of backbones, and Finned Fish have fins and backbones.
Seed allergies are not as common as some other allergies. However, they are on the rise and still bring the health concerns other food allergies bring and may lead to anaphylaxis.
Seeds are used in everyday products, from baked goods to burgers to hair care, and if a person is allergic to one seed, they are likely allergic to others seeds.
Have you heard of the below Seeds that can cause allergic reactions?
• Sesame Seeds • Mustard Seeds • Sunflower Seeds • Rapeseed • Flaxseed • Poppy Seed • Pine Nuts (also considered a seed) •
ORAL ALLERGY SYNDROME (OAS)
Also sometimes referred to as Pollen Fruit Allergy or Pollen Food Allergy, Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) is an allergic reaction that commonly occurs in people that consume food substances that contains the pollen they are allergic to.
People that often have this allergy, have allergies to pollen that includes Birch pollen, Alder pollen, Grass pollen, Ragweed pollen and Mugwort pollen.
MAMMALIAN MEAT ALLERGY
The Mammalian Meat Allergy occurs when through the bite, the Australian tick transfers Alpha-gal (found in the tick's saliva) to their victim.
Mammalian Meat Allergy may cause anaphylaxis, and the symptoms of Mammalian Meat Allergy are similar to those of other food allergies.
However, unlike other food allergies, it may have a delayed onset of symptoms in some cases.
When a person has issues digesting certain carbohydrates which leads to gas, diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating and more, they have a condition known as a FODMAP Intolerance.
In order to relieve the symptoms they need to eliminate any foods that trigger the intolerance and adopt a low FODMAP Diet.
Allergy Life Australia is constantly adding more information on allergies, intolerances and autoimmune conditions. Below are some other foods that can cause reactions for certain people:
• Mustard Seeds
• Sulfites/ Sulfates
• Sugar Alcohol
• Balsam of Peru
• MSG (Monosodium glutamate)
• PPD (Para-phenylenediamine)
• Food Colouring (Such as Tartrazine Seeds)
If you want to find out more about any of the above allergies or another allergy not listed or would like to request an Allergy to be added, please get in touch with us.
The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified health care provider.