Food Allergens & their Symptoms Print

Many people suffer from food allergies or intolerance. In addition to any medication a medical practitioner may prescribe, prevention is better than cure. Try to identify which foods, if any, your body reacts negatively to, and avoid them. Milk is the most common allergen. The following list of allergens are in descending order of how common they occur.

Milk - found in dairy products, e.g. milk, butter, cream, ice cream and yoghurt.
Symptoms include constipation, diarrhoea, wind, rhinitis catarrh and migraine. Babies may in addition suffer from colic and eczema.

Gluten - found in flour, bread, biscuits, barley, rye, canned soups, stock cubes and processed foods containing rusk or hydrolysed vegetable protein.
Symptoms include migraine and coeliac disease.

Eggs - found in cakes, dessert, meringues, mayonnaise, mousses and ice cream. It is usually the egg white that is the allergen.
Symptoms include rashes, swelling, upset stomach, asthma and eczema.

Fish - smoked (kippers and salmon) or fresh (cod and sole).
Symptoms include migraine, nausea, rashes, swelling and upset stomach.

Shellfish - crustaceans (lobster, prawns, crabs) and molluscs (oysters, mussels, clams etc.)
Symptoms include prolonged stomach upsets, migraine and nausea.

Nuts - peanuts, walnuts, cashews and pecans, also found in nut flavoured bread, ice cream, confectionery and oils.     
Symptoms include rashes, swelling, asthma, eczema and anaphylactic shock.

Soya beans - found in soy sauce, soya flour, soya milk, tofu, soya oil, cake mixes etc.
Symptoms include headaches and indigestion.

Additives - such as Tartrazine and benzoic acid found in processed foods and drinks.
Symptoms include hyperactivity and other behavioural changes.
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