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Certain foods such as shellfish cause severe allergic reactions in some people. However, not all foods can be as easily discerned. You may be suffering from a food allergy but cannot figure out which food may be making your mouth swell or causing a skin reaction.

What Causes the Symptoms?

When you have to undergo a food allergy treatment, you need to find out exactly what foods are causing you to itch, swell, or have problems with breathing. Many young children must undergo this type of treatment as their parents discover that they are not immune to eating certain foods that they believe to be healthful.

For example, while one child may eat a chocolate candy and feel fine, another child may consume chocolate and break out in hives. He or she may experience swelling of the lips and eyes. In some cases, the child may complain of stomach upset.

An Investigative Science

Indeed, finding the cause of a food allergy is an investigative science. In some instances, a child may develop hives after eating a seafood dish. However, he or she may have eaten the food before and experienced no outbreak.

When Reactions Are Delayed

A food allergy may also develop from consuming cow’s milk and breast milk. This type of allergy may not appear for a couple weeks. Usually, a child will develop an itchy rash that appears on the arms, chest, cheeks, and legs. In this case, the parent may think the rash was caused by another food as the child did not suffer from the reactions for a long period.

Eating a Solid Food for the First Time

If a child eats a solid food for the first time, he or she may also develop an itchy rash or related reaction. Therefore, you need to see a doctor who is intimately familiar with the subject of food allergies to seek the answer you need and to plan the proper treatment.

A Threat to the Immune System

When a child or adult is allergic to a food, it is because the immune system views the food wrongfully as a threat. The immune system sees the food as a foreign body that needs to be annihilated or removed from the body. Any symptoms that are experienced result from an incorrect immune response. Therefore, a number of bodily organs can be affected when this type of activity takes place.

Food Intolerances: How They Are Different

Although some people confuse a food intolerance with a food allergy, the two are dissimilar. If a person has a food intolerance, he or she can still eat the food in small quantities without an adverse reaction. Food allergies, on the other hand, always trigger symptoms and therefore must be treated as allergies.

When they are severe, food intolerances cause symptoms that lead to digestive upset, or cramping, vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea. Some examples of food intolerances include lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, or food poisoning. The offending agents in these cases are gluten, lactose, or bacteria.