Allergies of one type or another affect more than 50 million people at any given time. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 5-percent of children and 4-percent of adults are affected by food allergies. Infants and children are at the greatest risk although an allergy can develop at any age, even to foods that were previously eaten without problem. Your body has built-in protection from danger thanks to the immune system, which fights off infection to keep you healthy.
Food allergies occur when your body for reacts to food or a substance in food as if it were a threat. This, in turn, triggers an exaggerated immune response. Let’s take a more detailed look at food allergies and what you can do about them…
Food allergies can be hereditary. A person who is genetically predisposed to form the antibody IgE (immunoglobin E) against foods must first be exposed to that specific food.
Digestion of the target food then triggers the body to produce large amounts of IgE, which in turn stimulates mast cells to release histamine. Allergic symptoms are specific to the tissues, where the histamine is released.