What are the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to food?

food allergy testing near me

Depending on what you’re allergic to, a food allergy reaction can range from unpleasant to dangerous. Approximately 50 million Americans, or roughly 4% – 6% of children and 4% of adults, suffer from a food allergy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Food allergies can start anytime, so it’s best to act early if you think you have an allergy.

What are the signs of a food allergy?
Regardless of your symptoms, Las Vegas allergies occur when you ingest a substance that your body considers dangerous. Allergies can run in families and spontaneously occur in people who have never had allergies before. The symptoms of food allergies can vary widely depending on the severity of your allergies.

Symptoms can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, or entire body. The most common symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tight throat
  • Tongue swelling
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale or blue skin
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint
  • Anaphylaxis

While many of the symptoms above can be troublesome and frightening, anaphylaxis is the most dangerous. An anaphylactic reaction is a systemic reaction that can sometimes result in your body going into shock. This kind of reaction can impair your breathing, requiring immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis can impact different areas of the body, so it’s a good idea to get tested for allergies if you think you might be allergic to the food you’ve eaten. If you’re wondering, “Where can I find food allergy testing near me?” contact us for an appointment!

When do food allergy symptoms appear?

food allergy testing near me
Food allergy symptoms generally occur within two hours. Usually, allergy symptoms start within minutes of consuming the food you’re allergic to, but it can sometimes take several hours for the allergy symptoms to appear. Children are more likely to have delayed allergic reactions, and are more likely to suffer from a skin problem called eczema when they interact with foods that they are allergic to.

Some people with an allergy to red meat may develop eczema as their primary symptom which is delayed in nature. Another rare food allergy is a dairy-related allergic reaction. Some people have an ailment called food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), which is a severe allergic reaction in the GI system that happens within 2-6 hours of consuming milk or dairy products. This allergic response can be caused by some grains and other foods. It is most frequently diagnosed in infants exposed to the foods they are allergic to for the first time. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which can sometimes lead to dehydration. Since the symptoms can be similar to a viral or bacterial infection, infants should receive an evaluation and official diagnosis from a doctor. If a child has FPIES, they may need to receive intravenous (IV) treatment to recover.

While some food allergy symptoms are severe, others may be milder. Sometimes, people with a food allergy only have mild reactions. Mild reactions that only involve the mouth and/or throat are sometimes called “oral allergy syndrome.” This reaction happens with exposure to the pollen in fruit and vegetables. Allergy sufferers may not be allergic to the fruit or vegetable they are consuming, but instead, they may be reacting to the pollen that the substance contains. The good news for people who are allergic to the pollen in a substance is that the pollen can be destroyed when the food is heated. If the pollen is eliminated, the food can be consumed without a problem.

What are the most common food allergies?
There are many foods that people of all ages can be allergic to.

These are the most common sources of food allergies in children:

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs

Adults are most often diagnosed with the following food allergies:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Fruit and allergy pollen
  • Nuts

Some people who are allergic to one substance may have other Las Vegas allergies. For instance, people with a shrimp allergy might have an allergy to lobster or crab. People allergic to peanuts might be allergic to tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews, and they may also have allergies to beans, which are legumes. Even if you think the chance of a cross-reactivity reaction is low, it’s always wise to visit an allergy specialist for allergy testing and diagnosis. If you suspect an allergy, a doctor can do several kinds of allergy testing to see what substance, if any, you are allergic to.

What do food allergy tests involve?

food allergy testing near me
If you’ve had a bad reaction to a food that you’ve eaten, we can help you out. There are several allergy tests available to help pinpoint food allergies. A skin prick test is the most common. This test involves scratching the surface of the skin of the arm or back and applying a small amount of the suspected allergen. If the skin has a reaction, which usually happens within 15-20 minutes of exposure, it’s safe to assume that you have a food allergy to the substance you are being tested for. A positive reaction results in a “wheal,” which looks like the same rash and raised lump that you would get from a mosquito bite.

Sometimes it is not possible to do a skin prick test for various reasons. If a doctor thinks that you might have a severe allergic reaction or if you are taking certain medications, they might recommend a blood test instead. While a blood test might not be as accurate as a skin test, it can still provide valuable information to the patient and the allergist about what substance a person may be allergic to.

Along with providing a physical test for allergies, your doctor may ask about your medical history related to allergies, including if any family members have allergies. You may be asked questions about when the symptoms started and the foods you consumed beforehand. Your doctor may want to know how long it took for the symptoms to start after you ate certain foods and if you’ve had the same reaction after eating the same food in the past. If you haven’t had a severe allergic reaction in the past, your doctor may recommend an oral challenge where you eat a small portion of the suspected allergen to see if you have a reaction. You will usually stay in the allergist’s office for several hours to see if a reaction occurs.

Ready to end your allergy suffering? Make an appointment at Tottori Allergy and Asthma by calling (702) 240-4233 or by scheduling an appointment online.

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signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction