The chocolate is very common and favorite processed food which we consume quite regularly. The kids and young people love this sweetened food the most. In most cases, our favorite foods become allergic to us at some stage of life. Thus those who consume a lot of chocolate or foods which contain chocolate ingredients in young age, pose a higher risk to suffer from chocolate allergy in adulthood. This is actually an allergic reaction to cocoa which is a bean and this is the main ingredient of chocolate. Most chocolate contains milk, nuts, soy etc. as ingredients. The point is, milk and peanuts are already among the 8 most common food allergies which usually create severe reaction and are responsible for 90% of allergy problem among the people. So, this is actually the ingredient of chocolate which are mostly responsible for triggering the allergy reaction among people when they say that they have chocolate allergy. But still the doctor can confirm it after conducting several medical tests. The chocolate intolerance is also common which has mild reaction and takes more time to show its effect. But chocolate allergy causes more severe symptoms starting from headache, skin rashes, hives, vomiting, diarrhea and so on. The anaphylactic shock is life threatening and considered as the most dangerous condition for any allergy patient. Everyone should be aware of this and must take precautions to prevent it.
Ingredients of Chocolate which Trigger the Hypersensitivity:
As you already know the ingredients of chocolate are responsible for the allergy to chocolate, so check out the list below whether you are already allergic to any of them or not.
Milk: The dairy products are an essential part of chocolate. There is hardly any type of chocolate which can be made without milk. If you are allergic to milk, you should avoid chocolate too. In such cases, you can either consume bittersweet or dark chocolate which contains very less milk or lactose free chocolate which should be available in supermarkets.
Caffeine: The chocolate definitely contains caffeine although the amount is very little in comparison to other elements. Although caffeine helps to stimulate our nervous system and removed tiredness, but too much consumption will impact negatively on the brain and other parts of the body in long run. So if you very sensitive to caffeine, avoid chocolate which can trigger your caffeine allergy within few minutes.
Nut: Both peanuts and tree nuts create a severe allergic reaction. Both of them are used as additive in chocolate. The nuts manufacturer often manufactures chocolate on the same line. Thus there is always a possibility of having a nut allergy even the chocolate that you are consuming actually does not include any nuts. You can easily sort out this problem by contacting the manufacturer directly and ask them. FDA has the rule which states that manufacturers must mention the ingredient name on the label in order to create consciousness and carefulness among the people.
Corn: This food item is hard to avoid while making a processed food product such as chocolate. The white chocolate consists corn which can cause severe allergic reaction. The high fructose corn syrup is commonly used for chocolate or corn manufacturers use the same line for producing chocolate. Either way corn allergy can be triggered.
Wheat and Gluten: The candies or chocolate often contains wheat and gluten as binders. You may find gluten free chocolates on the market which is probably safe for consumption. Also, don’t forget to check out the label where gluten should be mentioned as an ingredient.
Soy: Soy lecithin helps the chocolate to stay solid under room temperature when it is stored. But it is highly responsible for soy allergy and if you are already allergic to soy, chocolate can produce the similar symptoms after consumption.
Chocolate Allergy Symptoms:
These are the symptoms of chocolate allergy which shows up quite immediately to a sufferer:
- Abdominal pain
- Anaphylactic shock (when ingredient cause this allergy)
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Redness of skin
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Swelling in the mouth and tongue
There are various tests to diagnose chocolate allergy. The food challenge test is one of them where the patient will be told to avoid chocolate containing food for a certain period of time. After that a piece of it will be offered to check whether the patient shows any symptoms or not. This test needs to be done under the supervision of an allergist and necessary cautions should be taken in prior to it. It can create any severe reaction to the patient almost immediately and thus enough arrangement should be there to prevent anaphylactic shock. The first concern is checking cocoa allergy. When it is eliminated as a risk, doctors must check the additives which are used to produce chocolate such as milk, soy or nuts. The skin prick test is very common where chocolate will be ingested underneath skin to check for symptoms. Only a doctor can advise exactly which type of test can detect your problem.
What Types of Treatment Can Cure It?
To prevent chocolate allergy, it is essential to avoid consuming chocolate or chocolate contain foods. You may try to find alternatives of chocolate if you are fond of it. There are new brands coming out in the market and producing chocolates which are free of milk, soy or nuts especially for the allergic patient. It could be the same brand or another one. If it does not include any allergic ingredients it is safe to eat. The doctors usually suggest for antihistamine or cream which provide quick relief to skin inflammation. In rare cases, to alleviate life threatening anaphylactic shock epinephrine injection should be used. This is always recommended to consult a doctor who can check out the symptoms and provide the most appropriate treatment for you.