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Everything You Need to Know About Food Allergies and How to Live with Them

Everything You Need to Know About Food Allergies and How to Live with Them

If you have food allergies, you could experience many different symptoms, some of which are mild and others that may be life-threatening. There are certain allergens that are easy to identify but food allergies often go undetected until they cause serious symptoms or you work with an allergist like Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group.

Keep reading to get the basics of the causes of food allergies, the source of them, the potential symptoms, and your treatment options. Then contact Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group at 805-658-9500 for food allergy testing and additional support.

Understanding Why Foods Trigger Allergies

A food allergy refers to a situation in which a person’s immune system believes that something harmless is actually a threat. The immune system then reacts by releasing histamine, which produces the symptoms of allergies.

There are different types of reactivity that can lead to different types of food allergy. For example, oral allergy syndrome refers to the body confusing fruits and vegetables with pollen, while red meat allergies involve a reaction to alpha-galactose, a carbohydrate in meat.

Know Food Allergy Symptoms When You See Them

A mild allergy may cause nothing more than itching or tingling in your mouth or on your tongue. More severe reactions can include a swollen lip or tongue, hives, and digestive issues including vomiting and diarrhea. The most serious symptoms include breathing issues, loss of consciousness, dizziness, and anaphylactic shock, which results in the airway swelling until the allergy sufferer can no longer breathe. Anaphylactic shock can also cause dangerously low blood pressure and a fast pulse.

Foods That Commonly Cause Allergies

Technically, any food could cause an allergic reaction but there are some foods that are more dangerous than others. About 90% of food allergies are one of the following:

  • Fish/shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soy products
  • Tree nuts
  • Milk
  • Wheat

Note that you do not have to eat large amounts of foods you are allergic to. For example, a person who is allergic to peanuts can have a reaction by eating a chip that was made in a facility that processes peanuts.

How We Can Identify and Treat Food Allergies

There are several methods we can use to determine what you are allergic to. We will start by talking to you about your symptoms and what foods you have observed a reaction to. We can also use food allergy to determine exactly what you are allergic to, or, in cases of serious reactions, we can use a blood test to determine levels of certain antibodies.

Once we know what food allergies you are dealing with, we can find the right treatment plan for you. At Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group we create a unique, specialized plan for everyone. To learn more about your options, contact us at 805-658-9500.