Food Allergies That Can Begin in Your Teenage Years
A food allergy occurs when your body sees food as a foreign invader, just like an infection, and works to fight against it. Food allergies can happen at any time in your life and with any food. Common food allergies that can begin in your teenage years are gluten allergies, lactose intolerance, and shellfish allergies.
Gluten is a protein found in some grains, but remember that gluten “allergy” is technically not a correct term. There are gluten sensitivities/intolerances, or celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to gluten that can result in intestinal damage. A gluten sensitivity/intolerance is a reaction to gluten in a similar way as celiac but does not create antibodies or cause the same damage to the intestine. Symptoms of sensitivity or celiac are brain fog, migraines, dizziness, rashes, joint pain, bloating, or diarrhea.
Lactose is a form of sugar that is found in milk and dairy products. When you have an intolerance, your body can’t digest lactose. When products with lactose are consumed it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, or gas. The symptoms of intolerance can vary from person to person. Dairy products help you get essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, so it is important to get those from other places. Soy and almond milk also provides a good source of calcium and other essential nutrients.
Shellfish is one of the most common allergies. It can develop at any time in your life. It is important to know that a shellfish allergy, while it sounds like anything that comes from water, is different from a seafood allergy. Shellfish refers to crustaceans (like shrimp) or mollusks (like clams). Some people may get a reaction from eating it, while some may react by just touching it. When an allergic reaction happens, your body is reacting to the proteins and releases chemicals to fight it off. This will cause symptoms like wheezing, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is one allergy that can lead to anaphylaxis, so it is important to seek treatment from your doctor.
If you suspect you have an allergy, it is important to get this confirmed with your doctor. Knowing which food allergies you have can help you avoid them and avoid a reaction. Some allergies, such as shellfish, can have extreme reactions so you should meet with your doctor for treatment.
Check out this article on what you can do about your allergies at home!