Common Myths About Food Allergy

Many facts about food allergies are misunderstood. Here is a list of common misconceptions about food allergies along with the corresponding facts.

Myth: Food allergies are not real.

Fact: Food allergies are real and involve the body's immune system. In food allergy, the immune system misinterprets a food as a harmful invader and releases histamine and other chemicals to protect the body from harm. Symptoms can include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory distress.

Myth: Food allergies are not life threatening.

Fact: It is estimated that between 150-200 people die each year due to allergic reactions to food.

Myth: Food additives and artificial flavors cause the majority of food allergic reactions.

Fact: Contrary to common belief, natural foods account for the majority of allergic reactions. The foods that cause 90 percent of allergic reactions are: peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts (i.e. almonds, walnuts, pecans), fish, and crustacean shellfish.

Myth: Each allergic reaction to food becomes increasingly worse.

Fact: The severity of a reaction is based on a number of factors, including the amount of food ingested. A food-allergic individual may experience a mild or severe reaction.