Allergies

Do Food Dyes Lead to Allergy?

Food DyesFood dye allergies do not come under the category of typical IgE type of allergic reactions. The very phrase ‘food dye allergy’ is a misnomer. It is popularly used though. More appropriately, It should be called food intolerance.

What are the Foods that Usually Lead to Food Allergies?

Many children’s foods contain food dyes. It becomes almost impossible to detect the presence of food dyes. In some children they flare up eczema. If, sometime after the consumption of a particular food, the child develops eczema then it can be perceived as a food allergy. Annato is an orange/yellow dye. This is one of the most popular dyes that are used in foods such as crackers, cookies and bakery goods. It seems to result in allergic reactions such as eczema in some children.

What are the Medicines that Usually Lead to Food Allergy?

Usually aspirin and yellow food dye #5 (tartrazine) seem to cross-react. Some liquid antibiotics which contain food dyes in them also seem to cause allergic reactions. Some over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl® and Motrin® come in dye-free formulas.

Do Lotions and Shampoos Lead to Food Allergy?

Many lotions and shampoos commonly come with added food dyes. However, people experiencing allergy due to the food dyes present in the lotions and shampoos is rather rare. It is the dyes present in the food itself that often lead to an allergy.

Does Food Dye Allergy Lead to Anaphylactic Reactions?

Some empirical evidence suggests that food dye allergies lead to anaphylactic shock (whole body adverse reaction). Yellow food dye #5 (tartrazine) is widely implicated in anaphylaxis.

Are there any Tests for Diagnosing Food Dye Allergy?

The tests that are generally carried out for allergy confirmation are not useful for food allergy diagnosis. For food dye allergies IgG testing rather than the the IgE testing proves quite useful.

One Final Advice

Eat unprocessed natural foods which are close to their source of origin such as meat, vegetables and fruits that do not contain dyes.

Food Dye Allergy Symptoms

Initial Symptoms

These include itching of the mouth and difficulty in taking deep breaths and swallowing completely. These initial symptoms should not be ignored.

Digestive Symptoms

These include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. They are common symptoms of many ailments. If you experience these symptoms frequently or suspect that they may be due to food dye allergy, consult a physician immediately.

Skin Symptoms

Eczema and hives are common skin symptoms. In serious situations, anaphylaxis may happen, which leads to the blood pressure dropping.

Common Culprits

Two common culprits are the food dyes Yellow #5 and Red #40, which are used in beverages and foods. Other culpable items include lecithin and gums, artificial sweeteners, spices and MSG.

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