Classic food allergies are caused by your body’s overreactive immune response to food proteins, and they exist in up to 4 percent of adults and 6-8 percent of children.
The most common food allergies in children are due to:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree Nuts
The most common food allergies in adults are due to:
- Shellfish (crab, shrimp and lobster)
- Tree Nuts (cashew, pistachio, almond, walnut and pecan)
Food allergies can cause life-threatening allergic reactions.
Symptoms of Food Allergies:
- Symptoms of food allergies that can occur within minutes to a couple hours after eating:
- Skin: Hives, itching, flushing or swelling
- Lungs: Difficulty breathing, coughing, chest tightness or wheezing
- Throat: Hoarseness, difficulty speaking or choking sensation
- Mouth, nose and eyes: Runny nose and nasal congestion; sneezing; tongue swelling; and eye itching, swelling or redness
- Heart and circulation: Weakness, dizziness, fainting, irregular heart rate or low blood pressure
- Digestive system: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
Diagnoses of Food Allergies:
- Detailed History – our providers will take a detailed history to understand the symptoms, onset and causality of the foods associated with reaction
- Skin Testing – a small extract of the suspected food is placed on your skin and then pricked through the skin to determine if a reaction occurs
- Blood Testing – Blood tests measure the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods.
- Avoidance – detailed discussion on avoiding the foods that are causing your symptoms as well as proper reading of labels
- Prevention – recent research has shown that early introduction of high allergenic foods in early infancy can help prevent food allergies
- Oral Immunotherapy – slowly introducing the allergenic food and increasing it over time may help individuals increase their threshold that triggers a reaction