Understanding Food Allergies

08/19/2019

Over the years, food allergies have become a hot topic. Food allergies are serious, and approximately 32 million Americans are affected by this potentially life-threatening condition. In fact, approximately one of every 13 children in the United States has a food allergy. Food allergies occur due to the immune system overreacting to a food protein, which is referred to as the allergen.

What are the most common food allergies?

The most common allergens that can trigger a reaction in patients include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts

Food allergy vs. food intolerance

Some patients may confuse a food intolerance as a food allergy. The symptoms may overlap and may mimic other medical conditions. To determine which allergy you or your child has, it is best to work with an allergy clinic such as Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat to have a full evaluation done with an allergist to get the proper diagnosis.

Reactions to food allergies

Food allergies can develop at any point in time. However, most patients find out they have a food allergy when they are children. The patients who have food allergies need to take them seriously, even though some reactions may be mild. For patients who have a mild allergy, abdominal pain or hives may develop. For others, the reaction may be severe, including lowered blood pressure, severe anaphylaxis (the inability to breathe), and loss of consciousness.

For most food allergy patients who visit our practice, we can provide a prescription for medication that can be administered if an allergic reaction occurs. This medication cannot be obtained over-the-counter. Patients who are tested in our practice will receive results that include all the foods and environmental allergens that the patient may react to. This can be extremely informative and help patients know which foods and environmental triggers to avoid. Our team will also educate patients on how to read food labels to ensure they are consuming products that will not cause an allergic reaction.

Are you interested in learning more about food allergies and methods of control?

Contact the team at Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat at (732) 280-7855. We offer conveniently located facilities in the areas of Neptune and Holmdel, NJ and a multitude of providers who can offer convenient solutions to your food allergy concerns.