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Mechanisms of Food Allergies--Peanut and Wheat
Food allergies trigger immune responses to foods that are mistaken as being harmful to the individual. There are commonly four different types of allergic reactions: anaphylactic, cytotoxic, immune complex, and cell-mediated. Food allergies fall into the category of anaphylactic reactions, specifically localized anaphylaxis. These reactions are fast-reacting and can occur anywhere between 2-30 minutes after a person is exposed to that particular allergen. In the body, antibodies are small proteins found in bodily fluids and are identifiers of foreign objects in the body that must be neutralized. One particular antibody, the IgE antibody, is what results in a mistaken immune response in food allergies. The IgE antibodies get produced upon exposure to a food allergen and they bind to mast cells and basophils which contribute to allergic reactions. The mechanism can be seen below:
Photo courtesy of http://allergy-book.blogspot.com/2008/08/food-allergies-finding-out-whats-wrong.html
Once those antibodies are bound to those specific cells and bridge a space between them, the cells release granules. These granules are the factors that induce allergic symptoms such as redness, swelling, itching, etc. Avoidance of allergen contact and/or medications are common treatments to control these reactions. What is unfortunate about food allergies is that many are life-long and can result in death if exposure is not immediately caught. The FDA advertises a list of the top 8 most common food allergies to watch out for. Among the 8 are two allergies that are highly complex: peanut and wheat. This paper will explore the fascinating developments surrounding these allergies and current research that is being explored to better diagnose and treat patients.
Photo courtesy of www.marlerblog.com
Click here to learn more about peanut allergies!
Photo courtesy of www.prairieriverbooks.com
Click here to learn more about wheat allergies!
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