Check those Christmas ingredients to avoid allergies

FESTIVE FOOD: 50 per cent of Christmas A&E admissions are allergy-related Photo credit: Wikimedia

NUTRITION specialists have warned about food allergies that tend to coincide with Christmas…but many go undetected

The warning comes from Carolina Pérez Iglesias who is a specialist at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja and said that while the number doesn’t increase at Christmas, the number of undiagnosed cases does. “We mustn’t drop our guard at this time of year,” she said.

Although they are usually mild, allergic reactions account for 50% of treatments in hospital A&E wards, says the.

This is due to the fact that a number of people try different food stuffs around the festive period that may contain substances that they are unaware could cause problems…especially children.  There are also more lunches and dinners out at this time of the year and this is backed up by the data from the Spanish Allergology and Immunology Society (SEAIC) that found 7 out of 10 of the more serious allergic reactions happen when eating away from home.

The specialist observed that most effects from eating something that someone is allergic to happens within half an hour, and symptoms can range from itching at one end of the scale to a full blown anaphylactic shock which, if not treated, can result in death.

“The only proven treatment is elimination of the food causing the reaction from the diet,” added Iglesias.

Dr Sergio Negre, a specialist in paediatric gastroenterology at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia said the foods that cause the most allergic reactions are nuts, fruit not usually eaten at other times of year, and shellfish.

“In children the order of prevalence is cows’ milk, egg, fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Above all be careful with Christmas sweets like turrón (nougat) or marzipan as they have hidden ingredients,” he warned.

Anyone with an allergy should always carefully check the ingredients of any food; all restaurant menus now have full details of what is contained in their dishes.

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