Food Allergies Specialist

Premier Allergy and Asthma -  - Allergy and Asthma Specialists

Premier Allergy and Asthma

Allergy and Asthma Specialists located in Columbus, OH and the surrounding areas

Whether a food allergy develops in a young child, or first appears in an adult, it’s important to have the symptoms evaluated by the doctors at Premier Allergy and Asthma. They identify which food caused the problem and teach you how to prevent a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. As soon as you suspect a food allergy, whether in yourself or your child, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Dublin, Westerville, Canal Winchester, Lancaster, Marysville, Delaware, New Albany, Hilliard, Grove City, and Grandview, Ohio.

Food Allergies Q & A

What causes food allergies?

Food allergies develop when your immune system overreacts to proteins in the foods you eat. Every time you eat that food, your body releases chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction.

Though you can have an allergy to any type of protein-containing food, most food allergies are caused by:

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

Food allergies often appear before age 2, but they may not develop until adulthood. For example, 40% of fish and 60% of shellfish allergies first occur in adults.

What symptoms develop due to food allergies?

The symptoms caused by a food allergy typically appear within two hours after eating:

  • Stomach pain
  • Itchy mouth or ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Skin rash or itchy skin

Food allergies are the top cause of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

What is anaphylaxis?

When you’re diagnosed with a food allergy, your doctor at Premier Allergy and Asthma teaches you about anaphylaxis and prescribes auto-injectable epinephrine to have on hand should the problem arise.

Anaphylaxis is a serious reaction that occurs when several body systems have an allergic response. Your symptoms appear quickly and rapidly worsen, leading to shock and, without treatment, death. 

Anaphylaxis causes symptoms such as:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen lips, tongue, and/or throat
  • Feeling faint or confused
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness

At the first sign of anaphylaxis, you need to inject epinephrine and call 911 for emergency treatment.

How do you treat food allergies?

The primary treatment for most patients is eliminating all traces of the protein from their diet. Immunotherapy for peanut allergies may receive FDA approval soon. Otherwise, oral immunotherapy to retrain your immune system is the only other treatment option.

Oral immunotherapy isn’t safe for everyone. If your doctor determines you or your child are good candidates, treatment begins by taking microscopic doses of your allergen. Then your doctor slowly increases the dose over time. As a result, your immune system gradually becomes less sensitive and stops causing an allergic reaction.

This therapy can increase the amount of food you or your child can eat before having an allergic reaction. In some cases, it may give you the freedom to eat a full serving.

If you or your child develops symptoms of a food allergy, call Premier Allergy and Asthma or schedule an appointment online.