According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies affect four to six percent of children and four percent of adults.
Symptoms of a Food Allergy
Symptoms of food allergies can range from mild to severe. However, just because an initial reaction causes few problems doesn’t mean that all reactions will be similar. A food that triggered mild symptoms on one occasion may cause more severe symptoms another time.
Allergic reactions to foods can present themselves in many ways and may involve the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include:
- Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath
- 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 the skin
- Dizziness or feeling faint
Common Food Allergens
While any food may cause an adverse reaction, the following eight foods account for about 90 percent of all reactions:
- Tree nuts
Food Allergy Testing and Treatment
Determining a food allergy can be difficult. Working with an allergist can help provide answers through a combination of examinations, food diaries and skin tests. Once food allergies have been determined, we can provide a treatment plan for both emergency and long-term quality of life. Regarding food allergies, our practice is limited to IgE testing in certain individuals presenting with anaphylaxis after food ingestion, children with coexisting allergic disorders, and adults with eosinophilic esophagitis.