3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Food Allergy
      Category : Health Centers > Allergies

Food Allergy

Alternate Names : Food Hypersensitivity

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A food allergy is an abnormal response of the immune system that is caused by the protein in certain foods. A food allergy is not the same as food intolerance. A person with food intolerance may have symptoms, such as abdominal distress, after eating a certain food. However, this response is not caused by the immune system.

What is going on in the body?

A food allergy occurs when an immune response occurs. An immune response is a normal response of the body to something it sees as abnormal. Usually the response is to bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Sometimes the body will recognize certain foods as abnormal. When foods are recognized as abnormal, the body produces an antibody known as IgE. IgE reacts with mast cells, which are part of the immune system. The reaction affects mast cells in many areas of the body, including the following:

  • lungs
  • nose and throat
  • skin
  • stomach and bowels
  • When the IgE reacts with the mast cells, histamine is produced. This chemical produces the symptoms of a food allergy.

    What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    A food allergy is an abnormal immune system response to protein in certain foods. Following are some of the foods that commonly cause food allergies:

  • eggs
  • fish
  • milk and other dairy products
  • peanuts and peanut oil
  • shellfish, such as shrimp and crab
  • soy
  • tree nuts, such as walnuts
  • wheat
  • whitefish
  • There is some evidence that genetically modified corn, known as StarLink, may cause severe allergic responses. This possibility is currently being investigated. Most people with food allergies also have other allergy-related disorders. These include nasal allergies to dust and pollen, eczema, and asthma.


    Next section


    Food Allergy: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 05/04/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site