Food allergy is a more or less severe reaction of the immune system when eating certain foods, even in small quantities. It is easy to confuse it with food intolerance, since both present similar symptoms. The main difference is that, in the case of allergies, it is the immune system that reacts, and in the case of intolerances, it is the digestive system.
The most common symptoms are digestive problems, symptoms that also appear in the case of food intolerances. However, there are other reactions that only appear with allergies, such as respiratory problems, skin problems, and even a potentially fatal reaction, anaphylactic shock. In the case of allergy, this reaction is defined and immediate, but in the case of intolerance, the symptoms are not so clear and may take time to appear. As prevention it is advisable to completely eliminate the food causing the allergy and avoid any contact with it, closely monitoring the composition of the food that is eaten. In the case of intolerance, the body can gradually tolerate small amounts of food. The diagnosis can be made by a skin test, which consists of a puncture in the skin in which a small amount of the allergen is placed, to see if it causes a skin reaction. Or you can also have a blood test, measuring a certain antibody, immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is the one related to allergies.
The oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is an allergic reaction suffered by certain people who are allergic to pollen. It usually affects only mouth or throat when eating certain fruits, vegetables or nuts. This occurs because these foods contain proteins very similar to pollen, so the immune system reacts as if it were pollen. Many times, cooking food is enough to avoid this reaction. There is also a type of exercise-induced food allergy. In this case, the symptoms appear when exercising after eating certain foods, and it is enough to not eat anything two hours before doing sports.
It is estimated that 8% of children under 5 years old, and up to 4% of adults, suffer from some type of food allergy. Although there is no cure, some children outgrow food allergies.
Rekom Biotech offers high-quality recombinant allergens for use in the in vitro diagnosis of allergies of all kinds, including food allergies.
Below, you can find the list of Food allergies for which we offer IVD reagents. If you want to know more about a specific allergy, and/or consult the IVD reagents that we offer for it, do not hesitate to take a look.