For many people, food allergies are a fact of life, triggering a range of mild to severe symptoms.
It is estimated that 90% of all food allergies are caused by ‘the big eight’ – milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soybeans. These allergies are so common that manufacturers must legally declare any traces of these ingredients on food labels.
There are, however, almost 160 lesser-known other foods that trigger an allergic reaction for some people, which can be less straightforward to avoid.
Throughout this post, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about:
- Less common food allergy triggers
- Key food allergy symptoms
- Treatment and prevention methods for living with food allergy
If you or your loved one have a food allergy, you’ll know that navigating the world of food can feel stressful sometimes.
Read on to learn more about how certain foods could impact your health, gain the confidence you need to identify your symptoms, seek help, and start feeling better today.
Most Uncommon Food Allergies
If you tend to break out in an itchy rash or a swollen tongue after mealtime and you’re not sure what you could be allergic to, one of the foods below might be the culprit.
Although rare, it is possible to be allergic to meat.
Allergy symptoms are usually triggered in response to contact with ‘alpha-gal’ (a type of sugar found within meat) and tend to appear three to six hours after consumption.
You are more at risk of developing a meat allergy if you are also allergic to milk.
Similar to tree nuts or peanut allergies, sesame seeds can trigger severe allergic symptoms in some people, including trouble breathing and anaphylaxis.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 100 people are allergic to sesame, with reactions also being triggered by sesame seed extracts, butter, and oils.
Corn is a versatile and much-loved staple in many people’s diets – whether you enjoy freshly baked cornbread, a delicious tortilla, or your favorite cookie.
For some, however, corn is also a food allergen, triggering symptoms closely resembling allergic reactions to other grains, such as wheat. Due to this, diagnosing corn allergies can sometimes prove tricky.
Have you ever felt an uncomfortable tingling sensation in your mouth or throat after eating Halloween candies or enjoying a marshmallow more by the fire?
If this sounds familiar, you might be allergic to gelatin – a food ingredient made by boiling collagen taken from animal bodies.
For some people, citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruits can trigger an itchy tightness in the throat, including possible anaphylaxis.
In the case of oral allergy syndrome, other raw fruits and vegetables can cause trouble, too, with your body mistaking these foods for pollen. Common foods that might trigger oral allergy syndrome include apples, kiwis, apricots, cherries, peaches, celery, and zucchini.
Avacado and Mango
Did you know that many people who experience a latex allergy are more likely to be allergic to avocados or mango skins?
That’s because the proteins found within these foods are structurally similar to latex, confusing your immune system.
Hot dogs are highly processed foods packed with additives to keep them fresh for longer.
For people who are susceptive to allergic reactions, however, additives such as nitrate can often wreak havoc on the body, triggering a range of allergy symptoms.
Sulfates, again, are an ingredient often used to prevent foods from perishing, such as dried fruits, canned or frozen foods, processed meats, and wine.
The most common allergic reaction to sulfates includes breaking out in an itchy rash or hives.
How Does An Allergic Reaction Work?
Suppose you’re allergic to a specific food type. In that case, when your body comes into contact with this ingredient, your immune system falsely identifies the allergen as a ‘threat,’ producing antibodies to ‘attack’ the food.
As part of this reaction, histamine and other defensive chemicals are released into your bloodstream. These then trigger an inflammatory response, causing an array of allergy symptoms.
Studies have shown that you are more likely to develop a food allergy if you have a family history of eczema, asthma, or other types of allergic reactions.
Food Allergy Symptoms
Depending on age and overall health, food allergies tend to manifest differently for every individual. Having said this, however, there are some common symptoms to look out for:
- An itchy rash
- Tingling sensation in the mouth, tongue, and throat
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- Stomach issues, including cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Runny nose
- Weeping eyes
A more severe allergic reaction may cause anaphylaxis, including:
- Throat tightness, including trouble breathing
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
Allergic reactions to food can be complex, with symptoms sometimes worsening each exposure.
Due to this, if you notice yourself or a loved one experiencing any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to inform your healthcare professional so that you can put together a plan for diagnosis and treatment.
Treating And Preventing A Food Allergy Reaction
Living with a food allergy can feel overwhelming at times, but that’s not to say that your symptoms cannot be managed and prevented.
Here are some top tips for coping with uncommon food allergies:
Getting A Diagnosis
Step one in any food allergy journey is discovering your trigger foods.
We’d recommend booking a consultation with an allergist, who can run several blood tests and skin prick tests to help you get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Once you are diagnosed, your doctor may recommend trying an elimination diet, asking you to cut out specific allergens to avoid troublesome reactions.
Soothing Itchy Skin
As we’ve seen, one of the most common symptoms of food allergies tends to be an itchy rash or hives. If this sounds familiar, don’t fret!
This Eczemol OTC Topical Eczema Spray is the ultimate itch reliever. It is made from a non-toxic, sting-free formula and contains anti-inflammatory benefits to calm your allergic inflammations.
We recommend moisturizing your rash daily to help repair your skin’s barrier and boost hydration. This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a specially crafted balm made from nourishing manuka honey, anti-inflammatory olive oil, and hydrating beeswax. Apply twice daily or as often as needed to reduce your skin irritation.
Wear Hypoallergenic Clothing
To give your allergic reaction the best chance to heal, try wearing soft, hypoallergenic, gentle clothing on your skin.
For example, these 100% Organic Cotton Socks for Eczema have been made from an undyed, natural material that is lightweight and soft on sensitive skin.
In the case of hives – which often break across your chest and torso – wearing an anti-itch layer underneath your clothing, such as this 100% Organic Cotton Camisole, can also be helpful.
Manage Your Food Allergy Symptoms Today
Whether you’re living with one of the eight most common food allergies or a rare food triggers you, there are many ways to safely and effectively manage your allergic reaction symptoms.
Follow these tips to learn which food types might be causing you undue trouble, helping you take active steps towards effective treatment today.