You may have noticed that many people struggle with food allergies. You will find a person who does not eat particular food or ingredients. Sometimes, you might wonder why this is the case.

In this decade, various types of allergies, including those to food, are on the rise. People are reacting with food and elements that they were okay with in the past. However, some people believe in myths about the causes of allergies and the best ways to treat them.

Here, we will dispel 8 popular myths about food allergies to help you understand them better. Read on to know more.

Myth #1: Food allergies are rare.

Some people still think that food allergies are rare. They may not take you seriously when you say you have a milk allergy. What you need to know is that food allergies can be life-threatening for those who have them.

In fact, statistics show that around 15 million people in the United States are struggling with some type of allergic reaction related to food. This means that one out of every 13 people you see today around you might be dealing with a food allergy.

However, no one can accuse you of ignorance as few people often go undiagnosed by physicians and are misdiagnosed by patients. Some confuse allergies with other conditions or viruses, making it hard to determine the exact number of people with these issues.

But, as more individuals come forward with their own stories, food allergies are coming into the limelight. This aspect could be the reason why the cases seem to increase today. So, food allergies are not rare. Misdiagnosis or undiagnosed cases are the reason for the so-called few cases.  

Myth #2: Food allergies are a new phenomenon resulting from our modern lifestyles.

This is another common misconception about what causes these types of health issues today. Some physicians believe that the increase in allergic reactions is due to eating too much sugar or fat in childhood. However, the truth is that food allergies have been around for quite some time.

While you may feel like an allergy to certain foods started cropping up recently, the reality is that it has been there for much longer. But, you never knew about it due to a misdiagnosis issue. Remember, early physicians did not have the same level of information that current ones do, so they were unable to diagnose patients’ problems accurately.

Myth #3: Food allergies and viruses are the same

Apart from misinterpretation by physicians of yesterday, people mistook food allergies as something else entirely.

For instance, some people think they are lactose intolerant when, in reality, they have a milk allergy. Others believe their children are asthmatic due to congestion in their noses after consuming certain foods.

This misconception makes many people treat another problem like a viral infection. However, they realize later that their allergic reactions experience is due to certain foods. Only then do they remove it from their diet, and their condition starts to improve. Allergies and viruses are different aspects despite having similar symptoms at the time.

Myth #4: Food allergies are from unsanitary conditions

How you prepare your food can lead to an allergy. Doing it in unsanitary conditions will expose you to the risk of getting a food allergy. However, there is no evidence to support these claims making it a myth. The person preparing your meal may still encounter the allergen itself and pass it along to you if they don’t take proper precautions.

Where or who prepares the meal is not an issue. Food allergies are because of allergens that react with your body. So, as long as they are part of your ingredients, you will react to them.

Myth #5: Food allergies are from childhood. Adults are not allergic to food.

While food allergies can manifest themselves at any age, some people believe they cannot appear after infancy. Many individuals from families with certain allergies will develop some intolerance before adulthood. However, this does not mean they have a food allergy.

Again some people do not have food allergy signs until well into their adulthood. This aspect shows that the problem is not a childhood issue. Anyone can suffer from it regardless of their age.

Myth #6: Those who are lactose intolerant cannot consume dairy products at all.

No doubt, many people have difficulty digesting milk and cheese. But, this does not mean they should cut out every single source of nutrients similar to those of dairy from their diet. In essence, plenty of other food items contain similar components. You can enjoy the benefits you get from butter or yogurt instead of eating other types of foods.

Nonetheless, it does not mean you should avoid dairy products forever. By working closely with your doctor and research, you can resolve the milk allergy or dairy product issues. So, being lactose intolerant should not hinder you from eating dairy products forever.

Myth #7: Food allergies are the same as food intolerances

People confuse allergies and intolerance. While the two terms deal with almost the same issue, they are different. For instance, some individuals will not react towards certain items until they consume excessive amounts. Such people have a food intolerance.

On the other hand, some individuals even react to the aroma of some foods. Such people have a food allergy to that type of diet. So, it is essential to determine whether one has an intolerance or food allergy before making a specific conclusion.

Myth #8: You cannot be allergic to fruits or vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are central to healthy diets for many people. You will find someone having a series of food allergies, but they are okay with fruits and vegetables. While this might be the case, it does not mean fruit/vegetable allergies do not exist. People will have a reaction to particular fruits and not the other. So, never assume anything as one can be allergic to anything and everything.

Conclusion:

In a word, food allergies are common across the globe. The allergies do not occur due to age, gender, lifestyle, or hygiene. In essence, it is a way of a body to respond to various aspects of life.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.