Effects of Food Allergy on the Human Body

Effects of Food Allergy on the Human Body

An allergy occurs when the immune system reacts when exposed to the antigens. Ideally, the immune system treats the antigen as an invader hence releases the chemicals that are meant to defend the body against the foreign invader.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, over 50 million Americans suffer from an allergy of some kind. One of the different types of allergies is food allergy. In the case of food allergy, the antigen that causes the reaction is usually consumed food.  Ideally, people who suffer from food allergies have an immune system that overreacts to certain proteins that are present in the food.

Therefore, when the food is eaten, the immune system releases chemicals that fight the presence of the proteins, attacking these proteins (antigens) as if they were a harmful substance, just as it reacts to the presence of bacteria and viruses that cause illness. 

Reports by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) show that five percent of children and four percent of American adults suffer food allergies. Over the last two decades, there has been an increase of about 20% of patients experiencing food allergy. Across the globe, about 250 million people in developed countries suffer from food allergies.

In this article, we feature some of the effects of food allergy on the human body. The effects of food allergy to the body can range from mild to severe reactions. Mild food allergy reactions can be easily managed while the severe reactions can be deadly.

The common effects of food allergy on the human body include:

  • Tingling in the mouth / A burning sensation in the lips and in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips and the facial skin
  • Skin rash and Itchy skin
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Running nose
  • Streaming eyes

Ideally, these mild reactions occur whenever the immune system reacts to the foreign substance. For instance, the presence of proteins in the body could cause the mild reaction, which if left untreated grows to become a severe reaction. Now, let us have a look at these effects of food allergy as listed above.

Tingling in the mouth

In the medical field, the tingling sensation is usually referred to as Paraesthesia. The condition normally affects various parts of the body, but in the case of food allergy, the commonly affected part is the tongue.

When the immune system reacts after exposure to the food that is eaten, a person experiences the burning sensation, which is also referred to as the tingling feeling in the tongue. This is similar to the effects of the damaged nerves following a dental procedure. Normally, it is associated with the feeling of numbness and prickling sensation, which could also be associated with the change of how the food tastes or the taste of drinks.

For persons experiencing the tingling of the tongue because of certain foods, there is a likelihood they are also infected by the hay fever. In addition, referred to as oral allergy syndrome, tingling of the tongue could occur after eating some raw fruits or even vegetables. To treat tingling of the tongue, the allergy doctor can administer the antihistamine. However, for those who would want to try the home remedy, rinsing the mouth with water can also speed up healing. The best treatment, however, is to avoid the trigger food. If the tingling effect does not get better, consult the food allergy doctor Hawaii.

Swelling of the lips and the facial skin

This is a common effect of food allergy on the human body. Normally, the swelling could begin just minutes after eating the food that results in the overreaction of the immune system. Experiencing a swollen lip could be a sign of food allergy. Therefore, consider this an alarming symptom and requires immediate treatment. Therefore, if you are experiencing a swollen lip after eating a certain food, it is important that you see the best food allergy doctor Hawaii.

The swollen lip could also lead to a sudden trauma that develops in the mouth. Although a swollen lip could also occur because of other medical conditions, it usually alarming it is occurring soon after consuming certain foods. Allergies to certain types of food are associated with the swelling of the lip skin. The common food allergies that could result in swelling of the lip include eating foods like milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, Soy, Wheat, and other foods.

If you are allergic or have an extreme sensitivity to some types of spices like hot pepper, you might experience swollen lips or a burning sensation on the skin. Note that even mild spices could result in allergic reactions. Therefore, it is important that the patient be treated by qualified food allergy doctor Hawaii.

Note that swollen lips could also occur because of medicinal allergy. Therefore, taking a medicine that is known to cause an allergic reaction can also result in swollen lips. If you are suspecting certain medication causes swollen lips, ensure this is relayed to the allergy doctor.

Skin Rash and Itchy Skin

The other common effect of food allergy to the human body is skin rash and itchy skin. Often, the skin rash could be causing the patient to experience the itchy skin. Signs of food allergy can include small rash or a patch of the skin developing a rash. In some circumstances, it is usually reddish appearance resulting from the itchy effect because of food allergy. Research has shown that food allergy could also result in common skin infections that can also include hives, eczema, and reddened skin or even eyes.

Hives is a common symptom of food allergies and can occur in various parts of the body. Normally, hives occur on persons with allergies to foods like eggs, nuts, peanuts as well as fish. The effects of hives can include itchy skin within a patch of the skin or the affected area. Another condition that results in itching skin is Eczema. Normally, this is common in young children. When a person with food allergy develops eczema, the skin becomes inflamed developing the dry patches that will result in flaking off the skin. Dairy products, nuts, and wheat soy are some common causes of this condition.


Can food allergies cause wheezing? Often, people ask whether food allergy can result in wheezing, and want to understand how this occurs. In order to understand how this occurs, it is important that we define wheezing, and generally, how it occurs. Wheezing is because of inflammation and narrowing of the nasal or respiratory airways. This can occur in any location including the throat to the lungs. Normally, the food allergy results in wheezing when the patient is experiencing other forms of allergy. For instance, when an asthmatic person develops food allergy effects, this could result in wheezing due to an overreaction of the immune system. It is important that the patient see the doctor immediately before the condition has worsened. Research has shown that food allergy and asthma are common in children. Therefore, this could result in wheezing.


Anaphylaxis is a severe life-threatening food allergy reaction. Normally, this is associated with feeling lightheaded or fainting. In addition, persons experiencing anaphylaxis are likely to experience breathing difficulties or taking a shallow breath. Wheezing is also an effect that is associated with a severe symptom of food allergy.

When a person with food allergy experiences anaphylaxis, this is normally a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. Therefore, make sure that you call the Hawaii food allergy doctor in case your patient exhibits the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Ensure that the patient does not take the foods that are suspected to result in severe reaction again until they have seen the doctor. The common foods that lead to anaphylaxis include nuts, milk, fish, and some fruits.

Food Allergy Management and Treatment

The most effective approach for managing a food allergy is avoiding the foods that cause the allergy. Therefore, it is important that the patient check the labels for ingredients when buying the packed food. The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act mandates that the food manufacturers should include the ingredients when labeling the food. Therefore, it is paramount that before consuming any food, you check whether it contains the allergens.

Under some circumstances, just checking the ingredient does not guarantee that the food is clear of allergens as you may not be in a position to anticipate what could cause the overreaction of the immune system. Therefore, it is important that the patient see the food allergy specialist Hawaii for a proper food allergy management plan. The food allergy doctor might put the patient under treatment. If the symptoms of food allergy are treated effectively, this can heal the condition. In that regard, it is important that you see the food allergy specialist soon after the first symptoms become noticeable.