Antibodies formed by the immune system cause many inflammatory responses that trigger physical problems in those affected. The reaction is not triggered by whole foodstuffs, but by the protein components.
Depending on their sensitivity and the amount of allergen absorbed, most people affected develop what is known oral allergy syndrome anything from a few minutes to several hours after eating. The tongue, lips and oral mucosa start to tingle or feel numb. The following symptoms can arise as things progress:
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the eyes and nose,
- itching, redness, rashes, eczema, neurodermatitis,
- stomach pains, nausea, diarrhoea and/or vomiting,
- breathing difficulty, asthma,
- circulatory problems up to an including loss of consciousness,
- worst case scenario anaphylactic shock with organ failure.
The degree of seriousness varies depending on the allergies. Nut and peanut allergies can produce strong allergic reactions even in infancy.
Cross-reactions with other foods often exist in conjunction with allergies. This means that your body could also react more sensitively to other foods or their contents if an allergen has already been absorbed.
This is a major reason why diagnosing an allergy is very difficult, depending on its form and symptoms.
In all cases, if you suspect an allergy you should consult a doctor with the relevant specialist training , known as an allergist. You should then describe your suspected allergy symptoms to the doctor as precisely as possible.