Food Allergies and Antihistamines

When food allergies strike, individuals often turn to an antihistamine to relieve their discomfort. An antihistamine can be bought over the counter or prescribed by a physician, and can take the form of a nasal spray, a pill or eye drops, depending on a person's needs. While it is generally a wise practice to avoid eating foods that cause an allergic reaction, an antihistamine will help individuals who accidentally eat or just cannot avoid a food that they are allergic to. These consumers are advised to consult with their doctor to determine which antihistamine best serves their needs.

Common Foods that Cause Allergic Reactions

While it is possible for an individual to be allergic to any food, there are eight common foods that make up for almost all food allergies. These foods are nuts from trees, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, wheat and milk. 90 percent of all food allergies happen as a result of ingesting these foods, allergies which can be treated with an antihistamine.

Why Do Food Allergies Occur

Food allergies happen as a result of food proteins. For some reason, the immune systems of certain individuals mistakenly identify certain food proteins as being harmful to their bodies. When these proteins are ingested, the bodies of allergy sufferers react as if under attack. They do this by manifesting an allergic reaction, which can take different forms.

Allergic Reaction Symptoms

Oftentimes, an allergic reaction will take the form of red itchy bumps called hives. An allergy sufferer might also find their mouth or eyes swelling up, or an eczema rash breaking out across their body. An allergic reaction can even go gastrointestinal, causing unpleasant outbreaks of itchy bumps in one's mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, or stomach pains. A severe food allergy can even put one's very life at risk if an extreme reaction makes it hard for an individual to breathe or swallow. For this reason, it is important for individuals to get allergy tests, such as skin prick testing or blood tests, so they know what foods to avoid.

Antihistamine Treatment of Food Allergies

The good news is that, aside from extreme cases where an allergy makes it hard for an individual to breathe or swallow, an antihistamine can be used to treat many types of allergic reactions. An antihistamine accomplishes this task by blocking the chemical histamine from causing adverse reactions in a body. Many allergic reactions are a direct result of histamine, which is what makes an antihistamine so effective in treating allergies.

Choosing the right antihistamine is crucial in treating a food allergy. If one's primary symptom is itchy eyes, an eye drop antihistamine is the best of the possible antihistamine options. If one is suffering congestion, a decongestant antihistamine should be considered. It is important to ask one's doctor for an antihistamine recommendation, as the wrong antihistamine can have an adverse reaction to other medications someone might be taking.

If one consumes a food that causes them to have an allergic reaction, an antihistamine can save the day. For this reason, one should keep an antihistamine readily available.