While food allergies are very common, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding them. Food allergies are a very serious issue and misunderstanding them could lead to severe consequences. Thankfully, treatments for allergies are more advanced than ever, and living with an allergy isn’t a death sentence like it once was. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions about food allergies.
You Cannot Develop a Food Allergy Later on in Life
A lot of people have this idea that if they didn’t develop an allergy by the time they have reached adulthood, they’re totally safe. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. People can develop allergies at any point in their lives and allergies can be triggered by a variety of factors.
Allergies are caused by a genetic susceptibility combined with a high level of exposure to a particular allergen. So, if you end up consuming large amounts of food you could potentially be allergic to, you might develop an allergy. That’s why it’s essential that you’re aware of symptoms of a food allergy, so you can monitor whether you might be starting to develop an allergy to a certain food.
The opposite can also be true as well. Some people may have developed an allergy early on in life and the symptoms might start fading away at some point. This tends to be more common with soy, egg and milk allergies, but it could also happen with things like fish, shellfish, peanut, and tree nut allergies as well.
You Can Cure Allergies by Getting Exposed to Small Amounts of a Trigger Food
While this is not 100% false, this is one of the most pervasive and potentially dangerous myths floating around about food allergies. This largely stems from the idea that your immune system can be trained not to react to certain foods. While this can be done with some allergies, you should never try this on your own and you should always work with a physician that will monitor the whole process.
If you Monitor Your Food Consumption You Should be Fine
While monitoring the food you eat is an essential part of living with a food allergy, this isn’t where it stops. Allergens can find themselves in all sorts of non-food items and products, such as vitamins, medication, cosmetics or even things like stuffing in toys, so be careful.
A Mild Allergic Reaction is a Sign of a Mild Food Allergy
This is also a very common myth about food allergies. There is no such thing as a mild or severe food allergy. However, there can be variations in the severity of reactions. While you may have had a mild reaction to a particular allergen in the past, you could have a much more severe reaction to the same allergen later on in life, so always stay vigilant and never downplay your allergies.
While allergies can be complex and dealing with them is never easy, the more you know about them, the lesser the chance you’ll have to deal with severe complications.