According to a study by Mintel (2010), there are an estimated 21 million adults living within the UK who suffer from an allergy, whilst 10 million of these individuals have multiple allergies. If you, or someone you know, are included in this group of people suffering from an allergy, you may find it helpful to read the following information which offers guidance on how to manage this.
What is a food allergy?
The terms ‘food allergy’ and ‘food intolerance’ are often confused with each other, although they refer to different responses within the body. It is important to understand the reaction these can have on your body.
A food allergy is a process which involves the body responding to the consumption of something which it views as causing harm. This mistake in the body causes the production of an antibody to combat the entity it views as harmful. If the body comes into contact with the entity again, it creates a response within the immune system which releases chemicals and can cause symptoms including skin rashes, diarrhoea and swelling, or in more serious cases, unconsciousness and breathing difficulties.
A food intolerance, on the other hand, involves a person’s sensitivity to a certain food, such as wheat and lactose. Symptoms of food intolerance can range from stomach pain, diarrhoea, bloating or pain within the stomach.
Managing Your Food Allergy
If you are currently experiencing symptoms but are not yet diagnosed with a food allergy or food intolerance, you may wish to seek medical advice to investigate the cause of this and to distinguish which condition you are suffering from. Alongside seeking medical advice, it may also be helpful to keep a food diary to help you identify the potential cause of symptoms and establish a process of elimination.
If you already know you have a food allergy, avoiding contact with the thing you are allergic to is the only way to ensure you do not suffer an allergic reaction (since there is no known method for curing allergies). Checking the ingredient list of products before consuming them is therefore important, to ensure you do not consume your allergen inadvertently. This includes checking the ingredients of prescribed medicines, which is sometimes overlooked by allergy sufferers, as some pills can be coated with allergy-inducing substances.
One key feature of the Medsmart app is that it allows you to record your allergies on your personal account. If you are prescribed medication, you can check the ingredients list against your recorded allergies to ensure it suits your allergy needs, thus giving you better control and management of over these.
If you would like to manage your medication using Medsmart Meds & Pill Reminder, our app is available in the Apple and Google Play stores. Click the images below: