Reactions to food are common and can be divided into two categories, those caused by food allergy and all other reactions. It is important to know the difference between food allergies and other illnesses or symptoms caused by foods because the management of each is different.
●Food allergies develop when the body’s immune system has an abnormal reaction to one or more proteins in a food. Food allergies can lead to serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions.
●Other food reactions are not caused by the immune system. These reactions cause unpleasant symptoms and are far more common than food allergies. Examples include lactose intolerance, heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux), bacterial food poisoning, and sensitivity to caffeine, just to name a few.
ORAL ALLERGY SYNDROME or OAS is caused by allergens in foods that come from plants. These are mainly uncooked fruits and raw vegetables. Some nuts can cause OAS symptoms, but since nuts can also trigger allergic reactions that are not related to pollen and can be severe, extreme caution is needed with nut reactions. Only foods that come from plants cause OAS. Other types of foods, such as dairy, seafood, or meats, do not cause OAS. If you have OAS, you get symptoms where these foods touch your mouth and throat.
The allergens that cause OAS are easily destroyed by stomach acid, so the reaction usually stops as soon as the food is swallowed. Also for this reason, OAS rarely causes severe or life-threatening reactions. Cooking or heating also destroys the allergens, so cooked or canned fruits and vegetables rarely cause symptoms of OAS.