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How to treat a food allergy?

Food allergies are the body’s reaction to exposure to certain foods. This seriously affects the quality of life of many people. How are these adverse reactions treated? Is there a medicine to cure it?

When a person is allergic to a food, their immune system treats that substance as if it were an unwanted invader and tries to protect itself by releasing a chemical, histamine. As a result, unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms occur.

These symptoms are varied and may, in children, appear as flare-ups of atopic eczema, abdominal pain, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. In adults, the symptoms of food allergy appear as an oral syndrome (itching in the palate and throat, swelling of the lips), hives, an asthma attack or digestive symptoms.

But at any age, and in certain cases of severe food allergy, serious symptoms can also appear such as angioedema, a major asthma attack or anaphylactic shock.

emergency treatment

In the event of anaphylactic shock, the life of the allergic person is in immediate danger. Adrenaline is the “emergency treatment in this case because of its action on the heart, the blood vessels, which leads to the restoration of satisfactory blood circulation”indicates Ameli.fr. “It exists in the form of an auto-injector, easy to use.”

Prevention

Apart from this emergency therapy, the main treatment remains eviction. Because there are no drugs that can cure a food allergy. It is therefore a question of avoiding absorbing the incriminated food.

In some cases, “under medical supervision and only after the decision of the allergist, tolerance induction is sometimes proposed”indicates the French Association for the Prevention of Allergies (Afpral). “This is a therapeutic protocol for persistent food allergies. If successful, it greatly improves the quality of life of patients by allowing them to consume, in very small doses (form and quantity defined by the allergist ), the food in question.” It’s about “subcutaneous or oral desensitization techniques using modified allergens or even the oral intake of increasing doses of food to block allergic reactions”.

To note : any food can trigger an allergic reaction, but the most common are peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, seafood, fish, milk, soy and wheat.

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