Most of you believe that you are allergic to chocolate.
But this is not the fact, you are not allergic to chocolate, instead you are allergic to the ingredients of cocoa that is used in chocolates.
Cause of chocolate allergy:
Chocolate allergy is mainly caused by an intolerance or allergy to one or more of the other ingredients or food additives in chocolate.
The ingredients of cocoa include milk, nuts, caffeine, corn syrup, soy lecithin, Phenyl-ethylamine, Theo-bromine, dyes, and gluten.
Some unclean facilities where chocolate is packed may also contain some unintentional additives including mouse droppings, some insect parts, or trace amount of rats, when consumed may cause an allergic reaction.
In the countries other than United States often chocolates have less stringent regulations for listing trace ingredients in foods. There is variety of different symptoms of chocolate allergy.
Symptoms of chocolate allergy:
- Coronary problems
- Feeling of anger
- Hay fever
- Rectal itching
- Skin irritation
Sometimes chocolate allergy may also cause asthma if you are sensitive to more than one ingredient of the chocolate. In severely allergic people, chocolate allergy may trigger anaphylaxis.
Diagnosis for chocolate allergy:
Your doctor may perform allergy test to determine whether you have chocolate allergy or not. In skin test your doctor will prick, scratch, or inject some food extracts, and observes whether any reaction such as redness or swelling occurs.
In blood a sample of your blood is examined to know the amount of antibodies that corresponds to specific food or food additives.
Treatment and prevention of chocolate allergies:
When treating chocolate allergy your doctor will first determine whether you has a food allergy, food intolerance, or another condition producing similar symptoms.
The treatment and prevention for chocolate allergy mainly depends on the ingredients to which you are allergic. You need to follow some dietary changes to eliminate the reaction.
If you are allergic to cocoa the only treatment is completely avoiding chocolate products. But complete avoidance of foods which contain cocoa is not always possible. So, you can use number of medications to treat the symptoms associated with chocolate allergy.
- Antihistamines can be used to get relief from runny nose, hives, gastrointestinal symptoms and sneezing.
- You can also use topical creams to treat allergies to chocolate or chocolate ingredients.
- Bronchodilators can be used to relieve from asthma symptoms such as shortness of breathe or wheezing.
- Corticosteroids can help to reduce the inflammation.
- Epinephrine when injected acts as a powerful bronchodilator and opens the breathing tubes and quickly restores the normal respiration.
So to avoid chocolate allergy you need to carefully observe all the food ingredients of all the products that you are going to buy.