The numbness in your mouth after eating is likely the result of a food allergy. Your body can begin to recognize certain food proteins as harmful substances. Upon ingestion, the food triggers an immune response, causing the release of antibodies to protect you from harm. These antibodies lead to the symptoms commonly associated with an allergic reaction.
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Besides numbness or tingling within the mouth, a food allergy can also lead to other symptoms of the condition. It isn't uncommon to suffer some level of swelling to the mouth, lips, tongue, throat or face. You may also begin to experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, wheezing, nasal congestion, hives, itchiness and rash. It can even lead to dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness as well.
While food allergies vary from person to person, proteins found in certain foods are the most common. According to MayoClinic.com, the majority of food allergies are linked to nuts, shellfish, fish and eggs. You may also develop an allergy to gluten or dairy, but these two substances are more likely to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain than numbness or tingling in the mouth.
If you begin to experience numbness or tingling in the mouth, check all the ingredients of what you've just eaten. Most allergic reactions to food begin within minutes to an hour after ingestion, advises the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. As you eat the food item, you'll often experience a change of sensation within your mouth. Later, the reaction can move into the digestive tract, bloodstream, skin and respiratory system.
The most common form of treatment for a food allergy is avoidance. If you're aware of a particular food allergy, your doctor will most likely recommend avoiding foods made with this ingredient. Of course, it can be difficult to avoid these foods, especially at the onset of the condition. If you're allergy to a food item is mild, an over-the-counter antihistamines can help. However, epinephrine is needed for severe allergies to food.
If you have a severe allergy to certain food, even the tiniest of exposures can lead to anaphylaxis. This is often described as a life-threatening allergic reaction. In this situation, your airways may become restricted or obstructed, affecting your ability to breathe. You may also begin to experience heart palpitation, low blood pressure and loss of consciousness.