Food Allergies

If you are suffering from food allergies, or are experiencing incremental symptoms, call Dr. Patel’s offices immediately or request an appointment online.
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Advanced Allergy & Asthma

Dr. Kumar Patel, MD

Providing Advanced and Personalized Allergy Treatment in over 7 locations in PA, OH and WV!

A food allergy is an immune reaction to food proteins, which can lead to many symptoms that range from uncomfortable to dangerous. Food allergies affect up to 8 percent of young children and 4 percent of adults. They mostly affect children during the first two years of their life - however, the majority of sufferers will outgrow their allergies.

The only way to prevent allergic symptoms is to avoid allergens and triggers, i.e. specific foods. Symptoms in some cases result in minor discomfort. However, in more severe cases, reactions can be dangerous, causing stress in patients and their families as they work to avoid accidental exposures. Without guidance, this stress can limit your family’s ability to do any activity, play an outdoor game, or even enjoy your favorite meals.

At Advanced Allergy and Asthma, we are dedicated to providing the most up-to-date treatments and care plans for adult and pediatric patients with food allergies. For some severe cases, we can also work with you to get same day appointments. Come to see us at one of our convenient locations in Tarentum (PA), Beaver (PA), Sewickley (PA), and Steubenville (OH). You can call our offices at (724) 224-5440 or effortlessly request an appointment using our easy online booking tool!

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FAQs on Food Allergies:

What Types of Food Allergies are There?

There are two types of food allergies: immunologic and nonimmunologic:

  • Immunologic allergies refer to conditions where reactions happen within minutes, and can occasionally be fatal. They are associated with wheezing, oral and throat symptoms. Immunologic food allergies are also responsible for food-associated rhinitis (i.e. irritation and inflammation of the nasal cavity) and are most commonly due to the ingestion of egg, milk, peanut, soy, fish and shellfish products. Chronic symptoms are often associated with corn, wheat, cow’s milk, soy, yeast and acidic fruit (apple, kiwi, pear).
  • Non-immunologic manifestations mimic the symptoms of a true allergic reaction, though the symptoms are not actually caused by a reaction to an allergen. Some examples include eating hot and spicy food (causing a runny nose), certain food colorants and preservatives (which may trigger asthma attacks in certain patients), and other similar issues.

 

What are Some Common Food Allergens?

Cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, and soy proteins are the most common food allergens among young children. Additionally, Rhinitis and asthma symptoms are mostly caused by fish and shellfish. Other common food sources that can result in allergic reactions include:

  • Kiwi fruits
  • Tree nuts
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Celery
  • Chocolate
  • Beer
  • Paprika
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots

 

What are the Common Symptoms of Food Allergies?

Symptoms for food allergies vary depending on the allergen a patient reactions to:

  • The most common allergic reaction is oral allergy syndrome, sometimes called pollen-food allergy syndrome. In these cases, your mouth or throat feels itchy after eating foods such as fruit and vegetables. These symptoms are sometimes followed by abdominal pain and dermatitis.
  • On the other hand, milk allergies nearly always produce abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. (Note: Approximately 80 percent of milk and egg-allergic children can tolerate extensively heated or baked forms of these foods.)

 

How is a Food Allergy Diagnosed?

Most patients need to undergo a skin test to look for a reaction to a food allergen. In some cases, patients have a measurement of their serum food-specific (IgE) levels taken via a blood test. And in rare cases, patients may need to undergo both types of tests.

To confirm the results of an initial test, an oral food challenge may sometimes be conducted by a doctor. Patients undergoing this challenge will ingest incremental amounts of a suspected trigger (i.e. food), and the serum level in their blood will be evaluated during testing. These tests are highly supervised to ensure there is no danger to the patient, due to the potentially serious nature of a food allergy.

 

What are the Treatments for Food Allergies?

Medical relief for food allergies includes the use of antihistamines and topical steroids. In emergency cases, epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis (a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction). Immunotherapy is also sometimes used for treatment, where doctors gradually increasing exposure to allergens in the hopes of desensitization.

 

Can Food Allergies be Cured?

There is not medical-based cure for food allergies. However, reactions to milk, egg, soy, and wheat often resolve during childhood. Unfortunately, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, finned fish and shellfish tend to persist longer, and may never decrease in strength at all. Because of this, it is important for patients with a history of food allergies to be aware of the ingredients in their diet at all times. This will allow them to seek out appropriate alternatives as needed (i.e. non-dairy products, peanut-free cooking oils, etc.).

 

Where can I Get More Information about Food Allergies?

We’ve compiled a list of the most common food allergies, as well as links to information about these specific allergies. However it is important to remember that while some foods are common culprits, any food is capable of causing an allergic reaction.  

These links will direct you to the Food Allergy Research & Education’s website -

If you are suffering from food allergies, or are experiencing incremental symptoms, call Dr. Patel’s offices immediately or request an appointment online. Dr. Kumar Patel and his team of experienced care professionals are committed to helping patients like you in managing this condition.

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