An allergic reaction is when the body’s immune system attacks a foreign body that it deems intrusive or harmful. A healthy body can react anywhere from minutes to days after a food is consumed. Sometimes these symptoms can go unnoticed for long periods of time while other times the symptoms are obvious enough to make the sufferer visit a doctor. Symptoms of undiagnosed food allergies are:
- Swelling in the throat, which can feel like having something stuck there
- Itching, numbness and tingling on the face and around the mouth
- A feeling of lightheadedness caused by a decrease in blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate and increased anxiety
- Feeling tired or yawning excessively after a meal
- Bloating in the gut, feeling nauseous, excessive belching, diarrhea, loose stool
- Unexplained muscle and joint pain
If undiagnosed for an extended period of time, nutritional deficiencies will become worse and more symptoms will begin to appear. These symptoms can appear in the form of:
- Weight gain
- Loss of sleep
- Chronic constipation
- Splotchy and itchy spots on the skin
- Problems with concentration and recall
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Craving food even when full
Having even one or two of the above symptoms may indicate you have an undiagnosed food allergy. Many of these symptoms overlap with other diagnoses so getting allergy testing can help make clear the cause of the symptoms. It is important to find the underlying cause rather than simply treating the symptoms themselves.
The first step in treating an undiagnosed food allergy though, is to diagnose it with an allergy test from your doctor or nutritionist. Without testing, one can often still diagnose a food allergy by keeping a food diary. As you keep track of what you eat and drink, you can also keep track of how you feel during the day and sleep during the night. If a particular food keeps popping up at the times you feel worst, you likely have an allergy to it.
Every year millions of Americans are affected by undiagnosed food allergies. Each person’s body is unique and is affected in different ways. The effects of these allergies can be miserable for an otherwise healthy person. Being aware of any allergies and sensitivities in your diet can go a long way to helping you live a happier, healthier life.
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