The dangers of an undiagnosed food allergy

food allergy

The dangers of an undiagnosed food allergy

If you ever need a sobering reminder of the effects of allergies, here’s one. 19-year-old Sam Collings ordered a prawn starter while out at a meal. He didn’t know he was allergic to prawns and had never had a massive reaction to them in the past. The next day, 4th August 2019, Sam died from catastrophic organ failure brought on by a heart attack that was caused by an anaphylactic shock.

The only reactions Sam had complained about were a slightly scratchy throat after eating prawns or eggs. He had no reason to believe it was a fatal allergy. It’s hard to say how many undiagnosed people there are out there. But we do know 45% of adults develop an allergy in adulthood

It’s a constant source of worry and you can never be too careful. Here are some signs to look out for when it comes to food allergies.

Headaches

We all get headaches or migraines from time to time, but it might be happening more frequently when you have certain food. They don’t always happen immediately – they can happen hours after you’ve eaten, maybe even the next day. Frequent headaches are never a good sign, so you should always see a doctor about them. But now you might have an answer for them.

Bloating

This is a very common symptom. This is very similar to the headaches – it might not be the food and it might not happen straight away. Again though, pay attention to what you eat before these happen. Common triggers for bloating and/or stomach issues tend to be gluten, lactose, or fructose. These are intolerances instead of allergies, but will still need diagnosing.

Fatigue/pain

Everyone feels sleepy when they’ve eaten a lot, but if it happens more with certain foods, allergies could be the reason. It will be more intense than regular tiredness, potentially accompanied by spells of dizziness or shaking. You might also experience muscle or joint pains. These can affect your mood and put a stop to your day.

These might not seem serious or life-threatening, but Sam Collings thought the same about his scratchy throat. Allergies can be unpredictable and are not something to mess around with. If you have any unusual symptoms like the ones above, contact a medical professional as soon as you can. Especially if these symptoms are new.

Always consult with an allergy specialist and don’t try any at-home remedies. Allergy tests are simple and won’t take up too much of your time. You can even do them at home now! Always look after your health and never take the risk with food allergies.

At the London Allergy and Immunology Centre, we know the dangers of food allergies. If you want a professional opinion on your symptoms, feel free to get in touch with us on 02031 433 449.

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