You Could Be Allergic to Pizza and Not Know It
Do you cough a little or get a little itchy while celebrating Fridays with a movie and a pizza? You might not realize it, but you could be allergic to the food you're eating.
Pizza has plenty of different ingredients, including cheese and wheat. These are two ingredients that cause two of the most common food allergies – milk allergy and gluten sensitivity (gluten intolerance). But, as with any allergy, food allergies range in severity – from bearable rashes to closing of the airways. If you're allergic but only experience minor symptoms, you might never know you even have a food allergy!
But food allergies can be serious. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that food allergies cause 150 deaths and 30,000 severe allergic reactions in the U.S. annually. Children are more susceptible to food allergies, with 7 percent of children below 4 years old having at least one food allergy but only 4 percent of adults being afflicted.
If after eating you experience these symptoms, you could be allergic to something you just ate:
- Tingling sensation in your mouth
- Any skin irritations, like hives, tiny rashes, or any itching
- Swelling anywhere on your body, including your tongue
More severe symptoms include nausea, any stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. In some instances, it can also cause bloody stools. Researchers found that bloody stools caused by milk or soy allergies usually start when infants are 6 months old. If you see blood in your stools, it's very indicative of many dangerous conditions and not just food allergies – it's best to schedule an urgent appointment with your doctor because it could be a sign of a life-threatening condition like bowel cancer.
The most dangerous food allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which is when you start becoming unable to breathe because your airways are closing up.
It's important to always be aware of the possibility of food allergies and to keep an eye out for any symptoms after eating. You can develop food allergies over time (though children often outgrow food allergies), so you may start out with no symptoms then start developing some as time passes. If you do notice these symptoms after a meal, you should ask your doctor for a blood test to check for food allergies instead of a skin test. The NIH states that blood tests are safer than skin tests for people with food allergies.