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Common Myths about Food Allergies

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Hypersensitivity reactions by the body's immune system after food intake is known as food allergy. The article explains myths and related facts about it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Published At February 2, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 13, 2023


Food allergy is a hypersensitivity condition in which the digestive system reacts to any food item or its associated nutrients, which can be serious in some cases. Our immune system is the reason behind this hypersensitivity, which can lead to other conditions such as vomiting, nausea, indigestion, or inflammation in different body parts. Many myths around the world regarding food allergies need to be overruled. The article will explain the myths and facts related to each one of them.

What Are the Myths about Food Allergies?

  • Food Allergies Are Not a Serious Issue: This is a very common myth that people think about food allergies. They believe that food allergies can cause no serious problems in the body and can be cured. However, the fact behind this myth is that food allergies can cause many serious symptoms other than just abdominal pain or itching. It can lead to breathlessness, continuous vomiting, a stuffy nose, and loss of consciousness. Sometimes when several body parts are affected due to allergy, it can lead to anaphylaxis and life-threatening complications.

  • Every Allergic Reaction Can Get Worse Gradually: It is a myth that every food allergy can gradually get worse, but it is not so. The reactions to a food allergy are unpredictable. The body's reaction toward an allergy one time can show different signs the next time. The nature of the reaction is also unpredictable, as it can be mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Eating a Small Proportion of Allergic Food Will Not Hurt: Many people think that a particular amount of food can cause the allergy and not a small amount or some traces can affect it. It is a myth, as any small amount of food has the potential to initiate an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction in the body. Thus it is very important to remove the allergen food completely from the diet to avoid complications.

  • Food Intolerance and Food Allergies Are the Same: It is a common misconception among the population that food allergies and intolerance are similar phenomena; however, it is a myth. Food allergy is an immune-mediated response. Our immune system starts the secretion of immunoglobulin E in cases of allergies, where the immunoglobulin fights with the allergic food and releases histamines and other chemicals. Histamines, along with other chemicals, trigger the symptoms of allergic reactions. In food intolerance cases, the body's immune system has no role. Food intolerance can also cause symptoms similar to an allergy, but they do not cause any life-threatening situations.

  • Any Food Allergy Which Shows a Mild Reaction Is a Mild Allergy: It is a very dangerous myth about food allergies that if it has presented mild reactions in some episodes, it can always be expected to be mild. The outcome of food allergies can not be predicted, so it should not be ignored at any time. If a person is allergic to any food item, despite witnessing mild symptoms, it is important to be cautious and avoid eating it.

  • Peanut Is the Most Common Food Allergen in Kids: It is a wrong perception that peanuts are the most common allergic food in young kids; however, milk is the most common food allergen. Every food allergy, common or uncommon, should be considered serious and should not be ignored.

  • Peanuts Are the Most Dangerous Food Allergens: Every food allergy can be dangerous as the reactions and symptoms produced are unpredictable; considering any one food dangerous is not right. However, nine food items include eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, sesame, and tree nuts, which are very common allergens, but any food item can cause an allergy.

  • All Allergy-Inducing Food Ingredients Are Listed on the Packaging Labels: It is a myth that every manufacturing agency mentions allergy-inducing food ingredients on their food labels. In some countries, a few common food items, such as milk, soy, or eggs, can cause allergies and are mentioned on the labels. However, it is not necessary for an individual develops an allergy only to these items. It can be due to any other uncommon ingredient too. So it is important to inquire about every ingredient before consuming any food item which is not self-prepared.

  • Food Allergies Due to Positive Blood and Skin Tests: In most skin and blood tests for allergies, the results are not accurate; they can also be positive in cases with no allergies. Thus it is important to inform the primary healthcare advisors or an allergist who will help to investigate an allergy through proper history and tests.

  • Suppose the Label of Any Food Does Not Primarily Contain Allergen: Many manufacturing agencies do not mention the ingredients in good detail on their labels, so it is not safe to just read the labels and trust the food. Any food time consumed outside or which is not self-prepared should be evaluated well before consumption.

  • Food Allergies Are Developed in Childhood or Can Be Congenital: It is a myth in society that food allergies always develop in childhood and stay long for life. No, it is wrong; an allergy to food can develop at any age, irrespective of age, gender, or population. Sometimes people develop allergies to food items that they might have consumed safely at a young age or in the past.

  • Most Food Allergies Are Due to Tomatoes and Strawberries: Many people believe that vegetable allergies generally be due to tomatoes or strawberries; however, it is not a food item, or fruits and vegetables can cause allergies.

  • People with Food Allergies Are Allergic to Several Food Items: Many believe that an allergy to one food item can lead to many other food items or similar ones. For example, if a person has an allergy to any vegetable, it is not like he/she might be allergic to other vegetables too.


The myths about food allergies should always be cleared and confronted by healthcare professionals and healthcare educators. These myths can create some serious complications for some individuals or in society. Everything started on the internet or anywhere should always be cross-checked by a specialist before following.

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


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