Approximately 32 million people in the US have food allergies. While many allergic reactions to food are relatively minor, some people experience anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to certain foods. While there is no cure for food allergies, an allergist and asthma specialist will be able to pinpoint which food allergies you’re dealing with so you know how to avoid allergic reactions in the future.
There are Hundreds of Food Allergies
While there are more than 160 foods that can cause an allergic reaction, the majority of allergic reactions occur from these eight foods:
- Tree nuts
Spot the Symptoms of Food Allergies
Symptoms can appear anywhere from a couple of minutes to two hours after eating the offending food. Those with allergic reactions to certain foods may experience:
- Flushed skin
- Itching or tingling of the mouth or lips
- Facial swelling
- Abdominal cramps
Know When Food Allergies are Dangerous
While the symptoms above are fairly common and typically mild, it’s important to recognize when your food allergies are possibly dangerous and require prompt medical attention. More serious allergic reactions can lead to:
- Swelling of the throat
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of consciousness
If you or a child is experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis it is important to call 911 right away. In these more severe cases, your allergist may prescribe an EpiPen, which automatically injects epinephrine into the body to stop the allergic reaction. This type of medication is only used for more severe allergic reactions.
You Need to See an Allergist
While talking over your symptoms with a doctor may shed light as to whether or not you’re actually dealing with a food allergy, the only way to get a proper diagnosis is to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can go through your medical history, discuss the symptoms you are experiencing and perform appropriate skin and blood tests to determining which food allergies you’re dealing with.
If you are concerned that you or your child may be dealing with food allergies, an asthma doctor and allergist is the perfect medical professional to turn to for extensive allergy testing and treatment. Don’t let food allergies ruin your love for food. An allergist can help.