If you feel bloated, tired or irritable after eating; if you often experience stomach pains, reflux, diarrhea or constipation; if you get rashes, hives, itchy skin or eyes, or repeatedly binge on a particular food, you just might have a food allergy.Food allergies have been on the rise for the last 50 years, and it is estimated that they are behind many other health problems, especially in children.The most common allergenic foods for children are: dairy, wheat, corn, sugar, soy, nuts, peanuts, nuts and eggs. Many adults are also affected by these foods as well as oats, yeast, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus.Every Person’s Food Allergies are DifferentThe reality is that you can develop a sensitivity or allergy to any food at all, and it can happen any time of life. In fact, more and more adults with no previous allergies are now developing allergies.Everyone will experience food allergies differently, depending on their lifestyle, environment and overall health. Some people can eat small amounts of a food but react to larger amounts. Or you might be able to eat a food now and then without any reaction, but not as frequently.Another point to consider is whether you are reacting to the food, a chemical component of that food such as a particular protein, or something that has been added to the food. You may be surprised to learn than many people are allergic to the vitamins and minerals in the foods they eat.On the other hand, it is now widely known that allergies and asthma can be attributed to food additives or chemicals used to treat the food during growth, transportation of storage. Food colours, artificial flavourings, preservatives, pesticides, and food irradiation can trigger allergies and asthma, and are believed to be a significant cause of both health and psychological problems.How to Recognise Food AllergyThere are many warning signs of food allergy: dark circles under the eyes, frequent sniffing or throat-clearing, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, or frequent fatigue. Other signs may include headaches, stomach aches, bowel problems, congestion, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing, and frequent digestive or respiratory problems. Symptoms vary from person to person.A lesser known sign of food allergy is food cravings. If you are addicted to a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, among them, opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can develop a craving for it.The problem is that the symptoms of food allergy may not appear until hours, even days after the allergenic food has been eaten. This can make it very difficult to link the symptoms with the food trigger, which explains why so many food allergies go unrecognised until they are deeply entrenched. Another difficulty with identifying food allergies is that they are often missed by standard allergy tests.