Food Allergies Columbus Ohio
What You Should Know About Food Allergies
Many people suffer dangerous reactions after eating certain foods in Columbus, Ohio. Food allergies are the result of a person’s immune system fighting against a harmless food protein for an unknown reason. These are more severe than food intolerances, which many people have and are far more common. While an intolerance can cause an upset stomach or a minor rash on the skin, food allergies may cause a serious reaction, known as anaphylaxis. When someone with a true food allergy ingests the food he or she is allergic to, the onset of anaphylaxis is rapid and could lead to death.
Symptoms can begin a few minutes after consumption and up to 1 or 2 hours after eating. Though everyone experiences symptoms differently, they may include:
- Swelling of the face and lips
- Hives covering the body
- Itching or swelling of the throat
- Coughing and wheezing
- Loss of consciousness
- Stomach cramps
- Blood pressure drop
- Becoming unconscious
As of late, there has been much research into the causes of food allergies and their recent rise. Some risk factors have been identified. Children from families who have a history of food allergies, asthma, or hay fever. Infants and toddlers have reactions more commonly than older people. Eczema may also be a risk factor, as many children suffering from food allergies have eczema as well.
People are often diagnosed only after experiencing a reaction that needed medical attention. A skin prick test and/or ImmunoCAP blood testing may be performed in cases where it is unclear which food brought on the reaction. For those who did not have a severe reaction or anaphylaxis, an elimination diet may pinpoint the allergen. An elimination diet involves removing specific foods from a person’s diet while recording which foods are consumed.
Ninety percent of all reactions from a food allergy are the result of only eight foods. They are:
- Tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews)
Food allergies cannot be cured, but many children have outgrown them as their immune systems become more sophisticated. The best way to avoid a reaction is to avoid the food altogether. Precautions to take include asking about ingredients any time someone else prepares food, reading labels carefully, and wearing a medical alert bracelet. Those with food allergies must always be prepared for emergencies like anaphylactic reactions and carry epinephrine, which stops the reaction and the progression of the symptoms.
If you suspect you may have food allergies, Premier Allergy in Columbus, Ohio, has an allergist to help diagnose you.