An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes harmless substances for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular antigen. Upon exposure again to the allergen, these antibodies will release a number of chemicals such as histamine that cause allergy symptoms.
These allergens could be airborne, insect stings, medications, latex or substances you touch and certain foods. Anyone can develop an allergy but those at risk are children, those with a history of asthma or allergies and those currently with another allergic condition.
Food allergy in particular is one of the most common causes of allergy in people. It can range from mild to severe to life-threatening (anaphylaxis) and different from food intolerance since the latter is an unpleasant feeling triggered by food such as bloating, gas, or stomach cramps and does not involve the immune system. Although most people are allergic to food, some studies have found that certain people have allergies to food additives.
An example of this allergy to additive is Vinegar Allergy. It can be present locally or systematically. Local symptoms begin in the place of contact with the allergen (vinegar). Symptoms include itching, tingling, and redness of the skin. Systemic symptoms include swelling of the mouth, around the eyes, and sometimes the tongue and the larynx (angioedema). Angioedema is very dangerous because it can cause closing of airways as well generalized swelling and a significant drop in blood pressure leading to anaphylactic shock. Immediate medical attention is needed with this kind of reaction.
You will need to see a doctor or an allergist for a diagnosis of specific allergy. The doctor will ask about your symptoms, history, and put you on an elimination diet where suspicious foods are removed from your diet and added gradually. He/she will also perform skin and blood tests. As for the case of vinegar allergy, the patient can usually determine the cause given the symptoms occurring within a few minutes. There are instances however, of delayed reaction which could take up to several hours.
There is no known cure for allergy but it can be controlled or avoided. If you have an allergy to vinegar, you must always read labels and food ingredients. Certain foods contain high levels of vinegar such as beer, wine, tomato paste, dried fruit, bread, and soy sauce. It is also best to prepare your own meal especially for children to avoid food and drinks containing this additive. When eating outside of the house, always inform the cook or the waiter not to add vinegar or ask assistance to know foods containing them.
Your doctor may prescribe antihistamine drugs and corticosteroids to block further development of allergic reaction and to lower the reaction of the immune system to vinegar. In severe cases, adrenaline shots may be required.
Living with vinegar allergy or any kind of allergy can be bothersome and can cause anxiety. Consult your doctor and ask for advice on how to avoid your known triggers.
This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplements.