Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Allergy to Food Overview

Another name for Allergy to Food is Food Allergies.

What are food allergies?
A person with a food allergy has an abnormal reaction to food. The immune system, which fights infection, becomes activated when the body is exposed to the food. This results in inflammation of the skin, eyes, lungs or intestines. There are about 6 million people who suffer from food allergies in the US. Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal food reactions in the US. Milk and eggs are the most allergies seen in children, but 8 out of 10 children will outgrow them. Peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish allergies often last a lifetime.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Symptoms of food allergies include diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive gas, vomiting, hives, rash, itching, nasal congestion, eye redness, eye swelling, facial swelling, wheezing, mouth swelling, and tongue swelling.

How does the doctor treat food allergies?
Treatment for food allergies may include avoidance of certain foods, epinephrine injections, antihistamines, corticosteroids, leukotriene antagonist medications, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Continue to Allergy to Food Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Allergy to Food References
  1. Jansen SC, van Dusseldorp M, Bottema KC, Dubois AE. Intolerance to dietary biogenic amines: a review. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Sep;91(3):233-40. [14533654]
  2. Lea R, Whorwell PJ. The role of food intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;34(2):247-55. [15862933]
  3. McGough N, Cummings JH. Coeliac disease: a diverse clinical syndrome caused by intolerance of wheat, barley and rye. Proc Nutr Soc. 2005 Nov;64(4):434-50. [16313685]
  4. Montalto M, Curigliano V, Santoro L, Vastola M, Cammarota G, Manna R, Gasbarrini A, Gasbarrini G. Management and treatment of lactose malabsorption. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 14;12(2):187-91. [16482616]
  5. Osborn DA, Sinn J. Soy formula for prevention of allergy and food intolerance in infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD003741. [15266499]
  6. Patole S. Strategies for prevention of feed intolerance in preterm neonates: a systematic review. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2005 Jul;18(1):67-76. [16105795]
  7. Shuttleworth A. Food allergies, food intolerance and food-related anaphylaxis. Nurs Times. 2004 Jan 27-Feb 2;100(4):32-3. [14974260]
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