The eight most common Food Allergies

Food allergies are typically caused by eight common ingredients: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. These foods can initiate annoying skin reactions or life-threatening breathing problems. Because of the danger posed to those who are allergic to these foods, companies are required to display allergy warnings on their ingredients list.

Milk is the most common allergy among American children. Typically, 80% outgrow the allergy by the time they are six years old. Those allergic to cow’s milk must also avoid butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese, and any other products made from cow’s milk.

Eggs are second in the list of most common food allergies. Once again, 80% of children often outgrow this allergy by six years of age. Many immunizations are grown in hen’s eggs, so you’ll want to be sure to double check with your doctor before your child is given any shots.

Peanuts are more likely to cause severe allergic reactions. Only 20% of children outgrow this allergy, while 80% will have to deal with it throughout life. In addition to the nut itself, you’ll need to avoid products that contain peanut oil.

Tree nuts also tend to bring lifelong food allergies. Only 9% of children outgrow the sensitivity. As with peanuts, tree nuts are very likely to cause life threatening reactions. It’s entirely possible to be allergic to one type of nut, or many different varieties.

An allergy to fish or shellfish tends to develop later in life. Once it’s discovered, this allergy is typically severe and lifelong. It’s especially important to inform restaurant staff of a fish or shellfish allergy as fish are often fried in the same oil as other foods. Soy and wheat allergies seem to be increasing in the United States. In addition to foods, soy and wheat products are used to make toys and other non-food items. As with foods, these ingredients should be listed on the products tag.

Dr. Summit Shah

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