A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by triggering an allergic reaction. There are two categories of food allergy. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated is where symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called IgE. This type of food allergy can trigger anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergic reactions. Non-IgE mediated is where other parts of the body’s immune system react, causing symptoms, but does not involve the IgE antibody. Many non-IgE reactions are believed to be T-cell mediated. Symptoms include tingling in the mouth, itchy skin rash, swelling of the face or throat, shortness of breath, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
A study was conducted through a prepared questionnaire that would test 250 people suffering from food allergies. The aim of this study is to monitor symptoms, causes and treatment of people with food allergies in Tirana, Albania.
During the statistical processing of the data collected, it is observed that most common symptoms in people suffering from various food allergies were urticaria (40.91%), skin rash (40.91%), difficulty breathing (31.82%), swelling of the face (31.82%) and the others exhibited various symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, dizziness to fainting. The persons who had shown a mild degree of allergy were (26.09%), persons who had shown a moderate degree of allergy (26.09%) accompanied by medication recommended by the doctor. In the same percentage were persons who had an immediate reaction associated with hospitalization and anaphylactic shock (47.83%). Referring to the medications used in cases of mild food allergy, patients stated that 13.64% of them did not find it necessary to use any medication and the symptoms were gone within 24 hours. 9.09% of them had used Epinephrine in cases of anaphylactic shock. 50% of patients always carried an antihistamine drug with them and 27.27% consistently used alternative medication.
The sample is not comprehensive and the results can not be generalized because the sample was taken from the city of Tirana. The recommendation of food allergy is to avoid exposure to the food until your doctor's appointment. Information and care should be added to kindergartens, schools and media on the identification, treatment and management of people with food allergies.
Keywords: Food allergy, symptoms, Epinephrine, antihistamine, alternative medication.
- The importance of food allergies, what and how they cause them.
- Methods of identifying diagnoses.
- Methods of prevention and treatment.
- Underlining the drugs used (pay attention to reactions with other drugs that the patient administers).
- Alternative medicine as a treatment option.