Millions of individuals all over the world have food allergies with reactions that range from swelling and vomiting or even death. It is important to note that there are 8 major food allergens which include tree nut, milk, fish, egg, peanut, wheat, soy and shellfish. Most cases of dairy allergies typically start and end during the early years of life yet some adults have allergies to milk-based products including yogurt.
What are the symptoms?
Only an allergist can provide a definitive diagnosis of food allergy, but the symptoms are easy to detect. Once a highly sensitive child is exposed to yogurt or another dairy product via consumption, the enzymes in the food instigates a negative reaction. During mild reactions, this includes hives, swelling of the skin or digestive distress such as abdominal cramps, vomiting or diarrhea.
As for severe cases, an individual can go into a state of anaphylactic shock. This can cause chest or throat tightness, difficulty breathing and tingling sensation in the extremities, scalp and lips.
The allergist will perform skin and blood tests to figure out whether a component or ingredient of yogurt such as live bacteria, dairy or enzymes as well as natural or artificial flavors are responsible for triggering a reaction.
Treatment of yogurt allergy
Once the doctor determines the exact cause of the allergy, it should be eliminated from the diet. Even though some allergies such as dust or environmental reactions can be readily managed with medications, the ideal way to control food allergy is to eliminate the food from the diet. Remember that allergy injections are not considered effective in managing food allergies.
Fish or nut allergy
The variety of yogurt that an individual eats is as essential as the yogurt itself. Several companies have introduced the heart-healthy varieties that contain omega-3 fatty acids derived from nuts or fish. It is important to note that omega-3 fatty acids are antioxidants that protect the cells from damage and mutation. The individual should check the labels for alpha-linoleic acid or fish oil which can trigger fish allergy. The omega-3 that was derived from flaxseed or algae must be allergen-free.
In most circumstances, lactose intolerance has been mistaken as an allergy to yogurt and other dairy products, but it is actually a digestive problem. Once yogurt is consumed, lactose is released into the digestive tract. The body produces an enzyme called lactase to break down the lactose for absorption by the body. Individuals who could not produce lactase are considered lactose intolerant but not allergic to yogurt or other dairy goods.
Foods rich in histamine
Histamine is released once the body reacts to allergens present in the body. This can cause symptoms such as watery eyes or runny nose once an allergen is encountered. Take note that histamine is present in yogurt. Once an individual eats yogurt and starts to experience watery or itchy eyes, itchy nose, hives, diarrhea, wheezing or headaches, it is simply the reaction of the body to the introduction of histamine. The addition of yeast during the fermentation process of yogurt produces histamine.