Adulthood is weird. Sure, you were prepared to deal with the major headaches such as taxes and loan payments. But what happens when you're suddenly experiencing an allergic reaction to a food you've eaten your entire life? Adult-onset food allergies are a real pain for many people. That's why it's smart to know the food intolerances you can develop over time, and what to look out for so you can identify them.
Although the majority of food allergies start in childhood, some adults may experience allergic symptoms to plenty of foods that were previously tolerated. To make matters more confusing, there is not yet clear evidence on the causes of these adult-onset food allergies, as noted in the Mayo Clinic. It may just be your unlucky day the next time you order Oysters Rockefeller.
With that said, there are some foods that are more likely to cause adult allergic reactions than others. In fact, more than half of seafood allergies may develop in adulthood, as explained in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Seafood may be the most common culprit for the post-18 set, but potentially any food allergen can have its start later in life. Given this information, it's smart to be aware of the more common foods that trigger adult onset food allergies, as well as the best ways to protect yourself against these allergy attacks. In the meantime, hopefully all of your future meals will be delicious and free from the threat of anaphylactic shock.
Soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu all come to mind when you think of soy, but the stuff is in a whole cartload of processed foods as well, which may make it difficult to identify. But according to a 2016 case report from the European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, experiencing an adult allergic reaction to soy is a rare but potential issue. According to the Mayo Clinic, typical signs of a soy allergy may include anything from a tingly mouth to hives, swelling, breathing troubles, or abdominal distress. Fortunately, more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis are rare.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, lobster lovers. But according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), a shellfish allergy is remarkably more common in adults than children, for reasons that remain unclear. And as further explained by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), symptoms of a shellfish allergy include vomiting, hives, breathing issues, confusion, and even a tight throat. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating shellfish, then a test from an allergist can determine the root of your problem, as further explained by the ACAAI. Once diagnosed, you may need to carefully monitor your food labels, and exercise caution when dining out.
Pity the peanut. According to a study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, peanuts are one of the most likely foods to trigger adult onset allergies. What's more, the allergic reactions to the peanut can get frightening. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, signs of an allergic reaction to peanuts can include anything from a runny nose to digestive upset or even anaphylaxis. Seeing a doctor immediately is a smart course of action if you suspect a peanut allergy.
Why is the most delicious food so likely to cause allergies? According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, allergic reactions to seafood may affect approximately one percent of the world's population, and it is more common in adults than children. In general, symptoms of a fish allergy may include hives, sinus troubles, digestive upset, and headaches, as stated by the ACAAI. And as noted by Food Allergy Research & Education, avoiding seafood may mean a lifelong aversion to foods that are an unexpected source of seafood, such as Worcestershire sauce or Caesar dressing. This may be a tricky diagnosis.
5. Tree Nuts
Even your favorite nuts may present a problem. According to the ACAAI, tree nuts are among the most common food allergens for both children and adults; in fact, it is common for a tree nut allergy to last for a person's lifetime. As with many other food allergies, reactions such as skin rashes, a runny nose, respiratory problems, and digestive upset are common, as noted by Healthline. If you suspect a nut allergy, then a trip to your doctor for an allergy test is a fantastic idea.