Enjoying A Healthier Lifestyle

After I started exercising each and every day, I knew that I had to do something to work on my balance. I was falling over constantly, and it was really embarrassing. I talked to my family doctor about it, and he told me that working with an ENT specialist might be really helpful. When I went to the doctor, he started by going through and evaluating my balance, and it was really interesting to get feedback from someone that understood what I had been coping with. I was able to completely overhaul my balance, and it made a big difference. This blog is all about enjoying a healthier lifestyle by working with the right specialists.

Strange Symptoms After You Eat Could Be A Food Allergy

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You frequently get a headache after you eat. Your eyes may itch and your nose runs like you have a cold. When these symptoms occur soon after you eat, you may have a food allergy. Like an allergy to dust and pollen, there is no cure for this type of allergy. But your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor can isolate the foods that give you a problem so you can change your eating habits and get rid of the uncomfortable symptoms. Here is how food allergies are identified and what to do about the symptoms.

Just a Few Foods Cause the Majority of Allergies

Nine out of ten food allergies are caused by a small group of foods including:

  • eggs
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • dairy
  • wheat
  • soy beans
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts, such as almonds

Unfortunately, these items are found in many foods in different ways. For example, peanuts are used as a thickener for gravies and sauces. You may have a reaction to a sauce just as you would eating peanuts by themselves.

Checking for the Food Triggers

Allergy testing is done in a couple of ways to narrow down the particular foods to which you are allergic.

Skin tests - This is the preferred method of allergy testing because it gives fast results and can pinpoint the foods to which you are allergic. A small drop of liquid containing the food is placed on your skin. A needle prick is made on the skin where the drop was placed. If you're allergic to the substance, you'll have a reaction in a few minutes. A small raised bump, like a rash, will appear at the site. Your doctor may test for several things at once on different areas of your skin.

Blood tests: As with any allergy, when you consume something to which you are allergic, your immune system puts out an antigen into the blood stream. A blood test looks for specific antigens which can tell your doctor what class of foods are a trigger for you. Blood tests are useful when a skin test can't be done. For example, if you take certain medications or have a skin condition, a skin test may not work well, so the blood test is a good option.

If you have a slight reaction to something with the skin test, the allergist may have you do a number of food experiments to determine how sensitive you are. Over the next few days, they will have you consume an increasingly larger portion of the food to find out when a reaction occurs. For example, you may have a dairy allergy that causes you to have symptoms when you drink a glass of milk, but not when you eat a piece of cheese.

Treating a Food Allergy

Food allergies cannot be cured, so the focus of treatment is on the symptoms. If you have a reaction to a food, antihistamines may reduce such symptoms as headaches and a runny nose.

Avoidance of a food is the surest way to prevent symptoms. That can be challenging, so there may be some food alternatives to look into for your specific allergy:

  • People with milk allergies may be allergic to a specific animal protein. If you're allergic to cow's milk, you may be able to drink goat milk. If you have a reaction to all animal milk, try almond or rice milk.
  • People with wheat allergies are often reacting to the gluten in wheat flour. You may find that a gluten-free diet prevents allergic symptoms.
  • People with allergies to eggs may only react to the yolk and can have egg whites in their food.
  • People with peanut allergies who love peanut butter can try soy butter or sunflower butter.

You may discover a number of substitutes for the food to which you're allergic so that you can continue to enjoy some of your favorite dishes.

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20 October 2015