Cheese allergy is mainly caused by an adverse reaction in the body that occurs once cheese and cheese products are ingested. This triggers the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to perceive the chemicals, proteins or mold present in cheese as a threat or harmful substances to the body. These antibodies are responsible for defending the body by releasing histamine to fight off the allergen. The production of histamine results to the inflammation of the nasal passages, sinuses, lungs, eyes, ears and the skin. This leads to an allergic reaction that leads to the manifestation of various symptoms.
Allergic reaction to mold present in cheese
Individuals who suffer from allergies to outdoor molds and penicillin are prone to develop cross-reactive allergy to aged cheeses such as asiago and gorgonzola that contain mold. Take note that the symptoms of cheese allergy usually produce the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome such as itching, tickling or burning sensation on the lips, tongue, mouth and throat. All these are triggered within five minutes upon ingestion of cheese. The symptoms can also be accompanied by facial swelling, skin irritation, sinus pressure, congestion, allergic conjunctivitis, sneezing and asthma.
Sensitivity to tyramine
Tyramine is basically a chemical that is present in fermented foods. This is an amino acid that stimulates the response of histamine in individuals who have certain sensitivities to chemicals, leading to the excess levels of histamine circulating all over the body. This will aggravate the current symptoms or cause reactions such as itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, hives, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, headache and difficulty breathing. It is important to note that tyramine is also present in processed cheeses, aged cheeses and soy-based cheeses.
Allergy to dairy
Dairy allergy specifically to cheese and milk can trigger reactions due to the allergenic proteins that the body could not properly process. Take note that cheese contains whey and casein which is considered as the main trigger for cheese allergy, particularly in harder cheeses. An allergic reaction to dairy cheese can trigger symptoms such as lethargy, black circles under the eyes, inattention, hives, eczema, itchy rashes. The digestive symptoms include vomiting, nausea, cramps and diarrhea. As for the respiratory symptoms, it includes wheezing, congestion, and tightness of the chest, sore throat and asthma attack. You can learn ways on how to handle the symptoms during an allergic reaction by enrolling in a first aid course.
Intolerance to lactose
Individuals who are intolerant to lactose typically suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms that are similar to dairy allergy such as cramping, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and flatulence. Understandably, the conditions are often confused with one another. Always bear in mind that lactose intolerance occurs due to the deficiency in lactase in the digestive system, thus the body could not produce enzymes required to digest lactose present in dairy products. The doctor performs breath tests to diagnose or eliminate the possibility of lactose intolerance.
Treatment for cheese allergy
Cheese allergy can be prevented by avoiding all the possible triggers. The individual should keep a record of all the symptoms to help determine the exact source, while reactions to other foods can provide an insight if dairy allergy or chemical allergy is present.