We’ve all heard stories about how dangerous nut allergies can be. But peanuts and tree nuts are among many foods that can trigger an allergic reaction. In fact, nearly all foods can cause allergies.

Some people with pollen allergies can also develop a reaction to certain foods. This is known as “cross-allergy,” or oral allergy syndrome, and it occurs when the body reacts to allergens with similar properties. A common example is a reaction in the mouth when a person with birch pollen allergy eats a green apple.

Common food allergies

All of these foods can cause unpleasant allergic reactions. The best way to manage food allergy is to avoid trigger foods. Checking ingredient lists is very important when avoiding food allergens.

Chart showing common food allergens

Common food allergy symptoms

Severe reactions

If you experience swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or difficulty breathing shortly after eating a particular food, you should go to A&E straight away. If your allergy causes acute symptoms, it’s best to keep emergency medication on hand at all times.

  • Swelling of the mouth, lips, throat, or tongue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness

A food allergy can only be diagnosed by a doctor. This may be through the use of a food diary, or through allergy testing.

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