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23 February 2018

The Three Most Common Allergies – and The Unlikely Things That Trigger Them

Living with a food allergy can be difficult. Apart from the constant worry that you'll bite into something that could harm you, there's so many restaurants and social occasions you can miss out on. Fortunately, greater understanding and more culinary diversity mean that arguably it's easier than ever to enjoy all the foods you love at a greater range of places.

But that doesn't mean you can get complacent. If you or a close friend have an allergy, it's important that you be on the look out for anything that could potentially trigger a reaction. In this blog, Wilson Medic One rounds up three of the most common allergies in the world and the uncommon things that can cause a reaction. Read on and be smart next time you dine out or hit the grocery store.

Milk

While more common in infants and often grown out of, many people reach adulthood with an allergy to milk intact. Different from a lactose intolerance, a milk allergy is an inability in the body to process the protein component of milk. Because of this, many people with milk allergies are unable to ingest whey protein powder, limiting their options in protein supplements. Fortunately, there are a galaxy of milk-free and vegan-friendly protein powders available on the market, using peas, soy and brown rice. 

Eggs

Another allergy that's more common in children than in adults, egg allergies can cause anaphylaxis in serious cases and can be potentially fatal. Defined as a hypersensitivity to the specific proteins found in eggs, symptoms can appear in minutes, hours or days, and can be triggered by both raw and cooked eggs (such as in cakes). Extreme cases can be triggered by even small quantities of egg, such as in many red wines. Egg whites are used to clarify the wine after fermentation, taking it from hazy and cloudy to the clear and bright colour you see in your glass. If you'd like to avoid wine with egg whites in it, you're in luck. There are a growing number of egg-free wines suitable for people with allergies and vegans.

Nuts

One of the most commonly known allergies, tree nuts can cause serious reactions in people ranging from a slightly irritated throat to swollen eyes, rashes, asthma and anaphylaxis. While tree nuts are a broad category including cashews, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, walnuts and others, their commonalities mean that people are rarely only allergic to a single nut and are advised to avoid all tree nuts. Tree nuts can be found in many meat-free burger patties, with macadamia nut and walnut burgers making frequent appearances on restaurant menus. 

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