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Living with Food Allergy: Descriptive Essay

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The human body has an intricate system of mechanisms that protect and defend the body from germs and disease. As a whole, this system is known as the immune system. Although the whole body is involved in this intricate system, the white blood cells play an extremely important role. There are many different types of white blood cells and they each play a critical role in the case of an allergic reaction.

The first time a person eats a food that they are allergic to they may not notice the common symptoms. However, the proteins and chemicals in the food trigger cause the immune system to react. The chemicals that do this are identified as allergens. When the allergens enter the body the white blood cells called lymphocytes react by creating chemicals called IgE antibodies; These IgE antibodies circle around the bloodstream as they circle they come in contact with other white blood cells called mast cells. The IgE cells latch themselves to the surface of mast cells. These newly equipped cells are ready to “Defend” against that food chemical in the future

The second time a person ingests a food harmful to the body something very different happens. This time the body reacts very quickly and the immune system springs into action. The food proteins interact with the IgE antibodies on the mast cells. This interaction makes the mast cells release the chemicals histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals flow through the bloodstream and once they reach the nose, throat, lungs, and skin they can cause a rash and tingling and make it difficult for the person to breathe. They can also cause other symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.

If a person ingests a food that they are allergic to they may notice some or all of the following symptoms.


  • Mouth, lips, tongue, and throat may tingle or swell
  • Skin and other parts of the body may itch

A bumpy rash may develop.

  • Digestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma attack (if asthmatic)
  • Circulation

Feeling of faintness

In cases of severe food allergies, the person does not even have to eat the food. Simply touching the food or breathing in particles of it can trigger these reactions.

One of the crazy things about food allergies and intolerances is that different people are affected in different was. This means that two people who are allergic to the same thing can experience two very different experiences. One person with a peanut allergy may only experience a mild rash, while another may experience swelling of the throat and diarrhea. Another strange thing about food allergies is a person may react differently to a food on different days. This might depend on how much of the food they ate, what other foods they have eaten recently, or whether they are moving or resting.

In many cases, it may not be necessary to treat a reaction, for it is very mild. This reaction will cause a faint skin rash or a feeling of mild sickness. After a while, the symptoms will disappear and the body will return back to normal. Some stronger but not severe reactions can be treated with medicines called antihistamines. These can be useful if the allergy causes unpleasant symptoms, such as a lumpy rash or painful stomach cramps. These antihistamines work to reverse the effects of histamine, which is released by the mast cells. If a person’s symptoms include breathing difficulties they may be given a type of inhaler or more commonly known as a puffer. The medicine in these inhalers can help reduce swelling in the airways making it easier to breath. Many allergies can cause what is called a severe reaction. These can only be treated by the ingestion of epinephrine. A person suffering a severe reaction like this will be treated like a medical emergency. They will probably be taken to a hospital so they can be closely examined to make sure they fully recover.

Food allergies are quickly becoming one of the most well-known and chronic medical conditions all over the United States and Canada. At this current time, it is estimated that over 5% of all Canadian and American youth are living with an allergy. Having a food allergy requires constant acknowledgment and attention. It is suspected that food allergies can greatly affect one’s way of living and their physiological health. The rising number of young children being diagnosed with food allergies has caused a spike in children and families who are experiencing mental health problems and depression.

A review published in the The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2017. This review provides an overall synopsis of common physiological concerns of youth with allergies and their families. This review also included how families can deal with anxiety for their allergies for their children. In this journal “The authors report that children with food allergies and their parents tend to report a range of psychosocial concerns that include parenting stress, anxiety, and worries about bullying.” For many families, the first question that must be asked is how to balance surveillance and preparedness for life required for a potentially life-threatening allergy.

The authors said that many families whose children have mental concerns benefit from having an allergist listen to them about their concerns about their allergies. Although when patients need additional psychological health or has extreme anxiety and fear of there allergy, many times a doctor will refer them to a psychologist for additionally support. The mental health professional will conduct a private interview between them and the patient to see if they would benefit from short-term versus long-term psychotherapy and or medication.

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With the continuously rising number of allergies every day, it is likely that doctors and medical professionals will continue research and encounter many new questions on how to manage patients’ allergy-related mental concerns. Health care professionals can help normalize the balance of allergy management and activities appropriate to the age group. They can also provide early education on allergies and the psychological impact of them. Additionally, they provide the patient with the information that having anxiety over an allergy is common to try to balance their feelings.

A very common question that is asked about food allergies is can they be prevented. A study conducted in 2013 by American Academy of Pediatrics shows that feeding solid foods to infants could promote allergies. It recommends that solid foods should not be introduced to babies younger than 17 months (1 year and 5 months.) It also suggests that only breastfeeding for as long as possible, but it does not recommend breastfeeding for 6 months straight.

In the well-known case of a peanut allergy your child is more common to have a peanut allergy or an egg allergy if at birth or an infant they have eczema. The guidelines says you should introduce your child to foods with peanut as early as 4-6 months of age for high-risk infants who have already started solid foods. Parents should know that most infants are at a moderate or low risk for developing a peanut allergy, and most peanut-containing foods can be introduced at home.

Some food allergies can develop in the body at birth, some develop during childhood and others don’t appear until adulthood. Some food allergies are outgrown from a child as they grow up, while others are persistent and last throughout one’s lifetime. These patterns vary from the food they are allergic to and the person’s immune system.

Early Childhood

Most children develop a food allergy during the early years of there life. The most common allergies at early ages are those to milk and egg. In recent years, peanut allergies have also become much more common in young children. Parents of very young children who have allergies need to monitor their diets carefully.

Childhood Years

It is thought that, by the young age of five, 80 percent of children who have a milk or egg allergy will have outgrown it. There immune system eventually adapts to this allergen and stops reacting. These allergies often come as a whole: a study done in Australia found that 2 percent of all children who had a milk allergy and 3.2 percent had egg allergy- but more than half of these kids who had a milk allergy also had an egg allergy.

Not all children grow out of there allergies, though. The more severe the allergy is the less likely of a chance that you will outgrow it. Additionally, a child with several allergies are less likely to outgrow their allergy than a child with one allergy. In a small section of children with milk and egg allergies persist throughout childhood and may last for life. An example of this is my teacher Ms.Dubreil. Only about 20 percent of children with nut allergies will outgrow it. Allergic to other foods such as penicillin may also start to develop during childhood. Parents still need to closely monitor their child’s allergy, but as they grow up they become more aware of what they can eat and what they can.

Teenage Years

As a teenager, I can say that I have eaten much more diverse foods than I did when I was younger. This means that as I eat new foods there is more of a chance that I can develop new allergies. Additionally, an allergy can develop to a food which earlier could be eaten without causing a problem. Fish, shellfish, soy, peanut, and wheat allergies can all be developed during teenage years. As they become more independent teenagers can start managing their own allergies.

Adult Years

Most allergies will continue from childhood to adulthood and through the rest of their lives. New allergies particularly to fish, shellfish, soy, peanut, and wheat can arise. Adults who have food allergies have to monitor their diet just as close as a child would have to.

As I said before a food allergy can also affect one’s family and friends. Many different precautions have been taken at school and many other places. However, as long as the necessary precautions are made, having a food allergy should never stop someone from doing anything they want.

Having a child or family member with a serious food allergy means that the rest of the family must be aware of how serious this can be. Foods may have to be stored separately, and different meals might have to be prepared for the person with the allergy. Many people are so allergic to the substance that even being in the same room as the allergen can cause a reaction. This is called a airborne reaction. Even though these reactions are rare they can occur, so the rest of the family should avoid having the substance in the house altogether. Family members can also support the person mentally, by being supportive and knowing what to do in the case of anaphylaxis.

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Living with Food Allergy: Descriptive Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Living with Food Allergy: Descriptive Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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