Food Allergy

Food Aller­gy Overview

A Food aller­gy occurs when your immune sys­tem over­re­acts to a spe­cif­ic pro­tein found in cer­tain foods. Most food aller­gies are diag­nosed in young chil­dren but can devel­op into adult­hood as well. You can devel­op an aller­gy to cer­tain foods at any point in your life, even if you have pre­vi­ous­ly been able to eat that food with­out any problems. 

What trig­gers food allergies?

Any type of food you con­sume can cause an aller­gic reac­tion, but the most com­mon types of food aller­gies come from these foods:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shell­fish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Seeds

What are food aller­gy symptoms?

Symp­toms of a food aller­gy can range from very mild to severe. They may show through the skin, the gas­troin­testi­nal tract, the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem, and the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract. Most food aller­gy symp­toms show with­in two hours of inges­tion with the major­i­ty start­ing with­in min­utes. The most com­mon symp­toms of a food aller­gy are:

  • Vom­it­ing and/​or stom­ach cramps
  • Hives
  • Short­ness of breath
  • Wheez­ing
  • Repet­i­tive cough
  • Shock or cir­cu­la­to­ry collapse
  • Tight, hoarse throat; trou­ble swallowing
  • Swelling of the tongue, affect­ing the abil­i­ty to talk or breathe
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale or blue col­or­ing of skin
  • Dizzi­ness or feel­ing faint
  • Ana­phy­lax­is

How do you diag­nose a food allergy?

To diag­nose a food aller­gy, you can meet with an aller­gist who will dive into your health his­to­ry look­ing for any con­sis­tent trig­gers to deter­mine if your symp­toms are aller­gic or non-aller­gic. Your aller­gist may also rec­om­mend a skin test or blood test to deter­mine any aller­gens that may be affect­ing your sys­tem. In some cas­es, an aller­gist will rec­om­mend an oral food chal­lenge, which is done under the direct super­vi­sion of an aller­gist in a doctor’s office. 

How do you man­age and treat a food allergy?

The way to man­age and treat a food aller­gy is to avoid con­sum­ing the food that trig­gers your symp­toms. Be con­scious of what you are eat­ing both in and away from home. The Food Aller­gy Label­ing and Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act of 2004 (FAL­CPA) man­dates that man­u­fac­tur­ers of pack­aged foods pro­duced in the Unit­ed States iden­ti­fy, in sim­ple, clear lan­guage, the pres­ence of any of the eight most com­mon food aller­gens — milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and crus­tacean shell­fish — in their prod­ucts. You will also need to be care­ful when eat­ing out­side of your home to ensure those prepar­ing your food know exact­ly what your aller­gy is and its severity. 

Food oral immunother­a­py is also a treat­ment option used. We offer Palo­forzia (peanut aller­gen extract) to help reduce the sever­i­ty of an aller­gic reac­tion to peanuts. This med­i­cine will not treat an aller­gic reac­tion that has already begun but is instead a pre­ven­ta­tive used in adults and chil­dren 4 years of age or older. 

If your food aller­gy is life-threat­en­ing, injectable epi­neph­rine is usu­al­ly pre­scribed as emer­gency med­ica­tion for treat­ing a life-threat­en­ing allergy. 

Sched­ule an appoint­ment to dis­cuss food aller­gies with a Duly Aller­gist today >