Food Allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Most food-related symptoms occur within two hours of ingestion; often they start within minutes. In some very rare cases, the reaction may be delayed by four to six hours or even longer.
A food allergy can trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Emergency treatment is critical for anaphylaxis. Untreated, anaphylaxis can cause a coma or even death.
If you are allergic to a particular food, for example, you may first experience itching in the mouth as you start to eat the food. After the food is digested in the stomach, abdominal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or pain may start.
Not everyone who experiences symptoms after eating certain foods has a food allergy or needs to avoid that food entirely; for instance, some people experience an itchy mouth and throat after eating a raw or uncooked fruit or vegetable.
The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:
Anaphylaxis--In some people, a food allergy can trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
This can cause life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:
Many food allergies are first diagnosed in young children, though they may also appear in older children and adults. Food allergy can strike children and adults alike. While many children outgrow a food allergy, it is also possible for adults to develop allergies to particular foods. Foods, mostly responsible for the majority of allergic reactions include:
To diagnose a food allergy a doctor must first determine if the patient is having an adverse reaction to specific foods. This assessment is made with the help of a detailed patient history, the patient's diet diary, or an elimination diet.
An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is a pediatrician or internist with at least two additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma, immune deficiencies and other immunologic diseases.