Food Allergy Week 14-20 May 2017
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) this is a great support network with fantastic links and information to help everyone
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is a charitable, not-for-profit organisation established in 1993.
their aim is to improve awareness of allergy in the Australian community. they do this by sharing current information, education, advocacy, research, guidance and support.
Their outreach extends to individuals, families, school, workplaces, health professionals, government, food industry and all Australians.
Living with one or more allergic conditions can impact on your quality of life.
Talk to them if you need to know more or need to be pointed in the right direction.
With more than 20 years experience and a Medical Advisory Board to consult for advice, they will do there best to assist you in a world where research into allergic
For some questions, there are currently no answers but they can support you.
They are part of an international alliance of like-minded organisations and work closely with peak medical bodies including the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).
Allergy & Anaphylaxis
An allergy, is an overreaction by the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance. Substances that can trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens. Allergens may be in medication, in the environment (eg. pollens, grasses, moulds, dogs and cats), or proteins (most often) in the foods we eat. Individuals can have mild/moderate or severe allergies.
Allergies should not to be confused with an intolerance, which does not involve the immune system - see Food Intolerance. pdfFood intolerance190.55 KB
In Australia allergies are very common. Around one in three people will develop allergies at some time during their life. The most common allergic conditions are food allergies, eczema, asthma and hay fever. Food allergy occurs in around ten percent of children¹ and approximately two percent of adults.
Having a food allergy means that when you eat a food containing that protein (allergen), the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, stomach and gut, skin and/ or heart and blood pressure.
The same immune response occurs in drug allergy when a drug is ingested or injected and in insect allergy when a sting or bite occurs. There are also less common allergens that can also cause such an immune response.
For someone with a severe allergy, exposure to the allergen can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis affects the whole body, often within minutes of exposure.
Why not complete training to have a better understanding of what to do when you recognise the signs or symptons of Anaphylaxis HLTAID004 for Educators and parents and families or HLTAID003 Provide First Aid for everyone and every workplace.
Signs of a mild to moderate allergic reaction are:
Swelling of the lips, face, eyes
Hives or welts
Abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy)
Signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) are:
Swelling of tongue
Swelling/tightness in throat
Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
Persistent dizziness or collapse
Pale and floppy (young children)
¹Osborne et al. Prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy using population-based sampling and predetermined challenge criteria in infants. J Allergy Clin Immunolol 2011; 127: 668-676
Content updated January 2017