FOOD ALLERGIES

Many Americans, both young and old, suffer from food allergies. For these individuals, certain foods trigger an immune response to protect the body. Symptoms range from minor irritations to potential death. It is difficult to diagnose food allergies without the help of an allergy doctor.

Who should see an allergist for food allergies?

Each person is different, and so no two reactions are the same. Knowing about your body and what specific foods trigger symptoms is your best defense against food allergies.You should seek professional help if you:

  • Often have allergy symptoms after eating a certain type of food
  • Have symptoms that last for several days
  • Have symptoms that show up within an hour or two after eating
  • Break out in a rash after touching certain foods
  • Have a family history of food allergies

Avoiding allergens works best, but there are times where accidents happen, which means that you always need to be prepared.

Minor allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing, and coughing, can often be controlled with prescribed antihistamines. Take this medication after exposure to allergy-causing foods. Antihistamines also work against hives.

Severe reactions require a more intense solution, which often comes in an emergency epinephrine injection or a trip to the hospital. An EpiPen, or epinephrine auto-injector, is compact and fits into most bags, and if your allergy doctor prescribes one, you should always carry it. Hopefully, you never use it, but it is great to have a backup.

For KIDS, the most common food triggers are:

  1. Tree Nuts
  2. Peanuts
  3. Cow's Milk
  4. Soy
  5. Wheat
  6. Eggs

For ADULTS, the most common triggers are:

  1. Peanuts
  2. Fish
  3. Shellfish (lobster, crab, & shrimp)
  4. Tree Nuts (pecan/walnuts)