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The most common food allergens What you need to know

Food allergies and other forms of food hypersensitivity are a problem for many people. Its basis is the reaction of the immune system to the protein contained in this or that product. The onset and intensity of symptoms varies from hives to anaphylaxis, which can lead to asphyxiation and fatal outcomes.

Although promising preventive measures and therapeutic strategies are being developed, food allergy is incurable. To prevent allergic reactions, it is necessary to identify the allergen early and manage the diet accordingly.

The most common food allergens are:

  • Cow's milk
  • egg
  • Fish
  • tomato
  • Shellfish like crustaceans: crabs, lobsters, shrimps
  • Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts)
  • Peanut
  • wheat
  • soy
  • Sesame
  • berries (strawberries)
  • citrus fruits
  • Chocolate and more


The list of food allergens is very long and often conditional, hypersensitivity can develop to any product that is not considered "allergenic".


The most common allergen in babies and children. The immune system produces specific IgE against milk proteins. The higher the concentration of antibodies in the blood, the later tolerance is achieved. Some people have a lifelong milk protein allergy.


Allergy to this product is common in young children. The immune response to egg proteins is often very strong. In 70% of cases, tolerance is achieved by the age of 6 years.


Allergy to peanuts is often associated with allergies to tree nuts (almonds, walnuts). Gives a solid and strong reaction. As a rule, it lasts throughout life. Tolerance develops only in rare cases.

Crustaceans: crabs, lobsters, shrimps

It accounts for 2% of food allergies. It is common in both children and adults. lasts throughout life. Associated with specific IgE antibodies. Allergies to fish, crabs and molluscs are divided into separate subgroups.

fruits and vegetables

Allergy to melons, watermelons, citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes is associated with sensitization to profilins, a protein group included in the composition of fruits and vegetables. Allergies to fruits and vegetables rarely start at a young age. As a rule, it appears between the ages of 13-18 and in most cases it lasts throughout life. An exception is the allergy to potatoes, which is characterized by the formation of tolerance.

Cocoa and chocolate

Cocoa and its products may cause allergic reactions in sensitized individuals. Cocoa is one of the provoking factors in the development of atopic dermatitis in children under 5 years of age. Sensitization to cocoa also occurs in professional environments, for example, in pastry chefs. Manifests in the form of respiratory symptoms (allergic rhinitis, mucous membrane itching, etc.) and is associated with specific IgE.


  • Urticaria
  • Skin redness and rash
  • A tingling or itching sensation on the oral mucosa
  • Swelling of the face, lips and/or tongue
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal bypass
  • Spasmodic cough
  • Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
  • Swelling of the larynx and vocal chords
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Change in tone of voice
  • Cultivating awareness


Symptoms of food allergies are often of moderate severity, but can be manifested in an extreme form - anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may begin gradually, with other allergic symptoms worsening, or begin suddenly within seconds of eating the food.

  • Difficulty breathing due to swelling of the airways
  • Critically low blood pressure (anaphylactic shock)
  • Suppression of consciousness

It is noteworthy that any mild allergy may be complicated by anaphylaxis!

If you have a food allergy, you must:

  • Know which product is causing it
  • Know what symptoms develop
  • You could provide first aid
  • Call emergency services


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