What is food allergy?

In the human body our immune system role is to identify and destroy germs (such as bacteria or viruses) that make you sick. A food allergy happens when the immune system overreacts to a usually harmless food protein—called an allergen. The body’s immune system sees these certain foods as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms.

Food allergies can occur in response to any food, and some children (as well as adults) are allergic to more than one food. Food allergies may start in childhood or as an adult.

Food allergy reactions can be unpredictable. The first signs of a reaction might be mild, however symptoms can quickly worsen. Also important is that an allergen that causes a mild reaction one time can lead to a severe reaction the next time. 

Food Allergies Are Serious

Food allergies have one thing in common: They are serious.

Always take food allergies and the people who live with them seriously. Food allergy reactions can vary from mild to severe, including the potentially life-threatening condition anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and requires immediate treatment (click here for more information on Anaphylaxis).