25 Of The Most Common Allergies

An allergy is anything that causes your body to create an immune response that actually harms you. W...

An allergy is anything that causes your body to create an immune response that actually harms you. When you come into contact with a substance you’re allergic to, your body treats it like an invader and goes into overdrive. These reactions can be anything from a mild case of hives and headache to severe sinus or breathing issues, to something called anaphylaxis which can kill you and requires a shot of epinephrine from a device such as an EpiPen. For more mild allergies, there are many treatments from simply avoiding what you’re allergic to with food allergies to taking Benadryl or other over the counter medications for seasonal allergies. Some allergies require shots or drops under the tongue in hopes to retrain the immune system to no longer see the allergen as a threat, and “cure” the allergy. While some allergies are far more common than others, here’s a list of 25 Of The Most Common Allergies.


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A peanut allergy is not the same as other nut allergies because a peanut is not actually a true nut, but a member of the legume family. Peanut allergies are on the rise in the US and UK, and researchers aren't really sure why. What we do know is that reactions range from mild to fatal, and only require minimal contact to occur.


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Soy is a less common allergy that usually effects children, but it's a difficult one to have as soy is found in nearly every processed food, from baby formula to pre-prepared meat products and cooking oils (even if they aren't labeled as containing soy).


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Nickle is a metal (the metal the coin was originally made from), and some people are actually allergic to it. Often found in good costume jewelry, if your earring posts or necklaces make you itchy or leave behind a rash or dry flaky patches of skin, you may be allergic to nickle. Nickle is also commonly found in zippers, eyeglass frames, cell phones, and keys.


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Egg allergies are mostly common in children and are usually outgrown but not always. The proteins that cause the allergic reaction are actually only present in the egg white; however, all eggs must be avoided as it's impossible to not cross contaminate the egg yolk and white. Egg proteins are all used in many common vaccines, which is why your doctor will ask if you have an egg allergy before administering any vaccine.


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Penicillin is a group of antibiotics and one of the first sets of antibiotics to be regularly used. Discovered in 1928 by Alexander Flemming, penicillin was put into use regularly in 1942. Reactions range from a mild rash to anaphylaxis.


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Sulfates are chemicals that occur naturally in some foods and are added as a synthetic preservative in others. About 1 in 100 people are sensitive to these chemicals and reactions can be life threatening or something as simple as a mild headache.


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Tree nut allergies are one of the most common allergies in adults and children. Reactions can be life threatening and most experts recommend those with a tree nut allergy carry a epinephrine auto-injector pen with them at all times. Tree nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds among others. They do NOT include seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds or peanuts which are technically a member of the legume (bean) family.


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An allergic reaction to apples is actually one of the more common culprits of Oral Allergy Syndrome, or OAS. If you get tingling, itching, or swelling in your lips, tongue, or throat after eating apples, you may be allergic. The proteins in apples break down when they're cooked, so many people who cannot enjoy raw apples can still enjoy apple pie and apple sauce.


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Formaldehyde is a chemical that is frequently used to treat fabrics, specifically anti-chlorine, anti-wrinkle, waterproof, and suede finishes. It's also found in some beauty products such as nail polishes. Contact with formaldehyde can cause rashes and contact dermatitis.


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The most common spice allergies are cinnamon or garlic, but other spices including chives, mustard, and even vanilla can trigger a reaction anywhere from a headache to anaphalxsis. Spice allergies make up around 2% of all known food allergies, but doctors expect that number to rise as we now use spices in our food as well as cleaning and beauty products.


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Meat allergies can occur in reaction to beef, pork, venison, or poultry, depending on the individual, and symptoms can sometimes take hours to show. In recent years, meat allergies have been on the rise in the Southern US as a side effect of a bite from the lone star tick.


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Blades of grass actually have microscopic barbs that cause an allergic reaction when they come into direct contact with our skin. That, combined with pollen from grass being stirred up when it's mowed, makes summer a prime season for grass allergies.


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Citrus allergies are caused by profilins, a protein found in citrus fruits. The body may not recognize profilins as food but rather a harmful substance in some people, causing an immune reaction.


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Not many people in the US suffer from a sesame allergy, but it's common in countries such as Israel and Australia. A sesame allergy can be triggered by sesame seeds, sesame oil, and tahini.


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Salicylates are plant formed chemicals that are the basis for many medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs. They also show up naturally in some fruits and veggies, and are used as additives in processed foods and some beauty products. Reactions to a Salicylate allergy vary from a mild nasal congestion and rash to asthma like symptoms or anaphylaxis.


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Shellfish is one of the most common allergies in both children and adults and is different than a fish allergy. It includes anything in the shellfish family (lobster, crab and shrimp) but not necessarily things in the mollusk family (scallops, oysters and clams). Shellfish allergies send more people to the ER than any other allergy in the US.


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Insect stings are uncomfortable regardless of if you're allergic or not, as they all come with a tiny bit of venom which everyone's body reacts to. However, an allergy can cause pimple like sores, warmth at the site of the sting and swelling in the area. Sever allergic reactions can cause hives, trouble breathing, rapid pulse and sometimes anaphylaxis.


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A wheat allergy is not the same as being gluten intolerant (which is called celiac disease). A true wheat allergy is your body producing a response to the protein in wheat and products that contain wheat. This usually effects small children and is often outgrown. Thankfully, there are a lot of other flour options such as rice flour, coconut flour, and almond flour that offer alternatives for little tummies that can't have wheat flour.


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It's estimated that around 3% of small children are allergic to milk. While it was once thought that they grew out of this, recent studies have shown that this is not the case. Reactions range from an upset stomach and bloody stools to full anaphylaxis.


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An animal allergy is actually an allergic reaction to the proteins in the saliva and oil glands of the animal, and these allergies can take years to develop sometimes. Depending on the severity of the allergy, some people can still have cats or dogs if they're diligent about cleaning their home and their animals. Others, sadly, are barely able to be in the room with the animal they're allergic to.


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When cockroaches come to visit, they not only leave behind the shrieks of those who find them, they also leave behind saliva, fecal matter, and shed body parts. Some people have allergic reactions to these because cockroaches weren't horrible enough already.


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Latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree and can cause a very serious reaction in those who are allergic to it. The most common ways to come into context with latex are medical gloves and condoms, but thankfully, many medical facilities are switching over to Nitrile gloves, which is a synthetic latex that doesn't carry the allergic reaction risk.


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Molds are small fungi with spores that float around in the air until they can latch on and grow someplace warm and damp - like a bathroom or in the walls of a house that's had water damage. There are also specific types of mold that grow in fallen leaves outside, so if you're allergic to mold be careful and consider wearing a mask when raking.


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Dust Mites are microscopic mites that are the main cause of "dust" allergies. They feed on things like flakes of dead human skin, which can compose up to 80% of dust in some homes. Because they're so tiny, dust mites can be inhaled or get into your eyes, and your body reacts to them much the same way as pollen. While dirtier houses may have more mites, nowhere is completely free of them, so don't feel gross. You didn't know they were there yesterday; it's okay.


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Pollen is the powdery male reproductive part of plants. Male plants release pollen into the air, and when that pollen lands on a female flower, a new seed is made. However, the "release into the air" portion of this love story means that a lot of us breathe it in where our body has an unhappy reaction.


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