Stop Before You Bite Into That Candy Bar! Do You Know if You Have Food Allergies?

Halloween is only a few days away, and though the holiday is often enjoyed most by kids, adults are known to partake, too! From costumes to Halloween gatherings at work or with family and friends, the temptation of treats will be everywhere — but did you know there’s more at stake than your waistline when you indulge?

Not only is Halloween candy generally bad for your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and more, it can also pose a very serious health risk if you unknowingly have food allergies!

Test Smartly Labs is sharing the major food allergies to watch for this Halloween.

These Food Allergies Can Prove Tricky Around Halloween!

Peanut & Tree Nut Allergies

A peanut allergy or tree nut allergy is more than a nuisance; it has the potential to be deadly. When the immune system recognizes peanut or tree nut proteins as harmful following direct or indirect contact with the foods, the release of certain chemicals can cause a range of symptoms, from swelling and hives to diarrhea and nausea to wheezing and even fatal anaphylaxis.

Test Smartly Labs | Food Allergies to Beware This HalloweenPeanut allergies affect 1.4% of children; tree nut allergies, 1.1%. Up to 50% of people suffering from a peanut allergy are also allergic to tree nuts, according to Food Allergy Research & Education. From 1997 to 2008, the rate of peanut allergies more than tripled.

Unfortunately, peanuts and tree nuts are common in many Halloween candies, including Reese’s, Peanut M&Ms, Snickers, Mr. Goodbar, and Snickers. People with a peanut allergy or tree nut allergy should also be aware that cross-contamination in the processing plant can render other chocolates unsafe for consumption. Be sure to read all candy labels before eating!

Gluten Allergy & Celiac Disease

Gluten allergy, also known as wheat allergy, is a serious medical condition — and until you have it, you have no idea how prevalent gluten– the mixture of grain proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains like triticale — is!

When you have a gluten allergy, your immune system has a bad reaction to gluten, symptoms like swelling, hives, rashes, trouble breathing, and even loss of consciousness can result.

Celiac disease isn’t actually a gluten allergy. People with this autoimmune disorder suffer from diarrhea, bloating, rashes, joint pain, fatigue, and stomach pain when they consume gluten, because their immune systems attack their small intestine, preventing proper nutrient absorption and potentially causing lasting intestinal damage.

A gluten allergy can prove tricky around Halloween, as certain candies you may not expect, like Twizzlers, contain gluten (the proteins help bind the candy together). Other candy that includes cookies, such as Kit Kats, Twix, and Crunch Bars, are all no-gos. Also keep in mind that cross-contamination can occur, making certain candies off-limits, too. Again, consult all food and candy labels for gluten allergy warnings before consumption.

Find Out if You Have Food Allergies!

Think you can’t possibly have a food allergy? Some food allergies don’t have visible symptoms, and others can be mistaken for other medical problems. This means that food allergies could be causing damage to your body without you knowing.

Test Smartly Labs locations nationwide offer quick, painless testing for food allergies. Gone are the days when food allergy testing involved drawing a grid on your skin and pricking you with multiple needles — our simple blood draw can test you for hundreds of food allergies.

Find your nearest Test Smartly Labs today for food allergy testing, and make sure you’re safe this Halloween!

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