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Food Allergies are a Growing Epidemic in the U.S.

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Being prepared for you or a loved one to have serious allergy complications is becoming more important than ever. Allergy testing performed by a Board-Certified Allergist will help to mitigate the risk of a serious allergic reaction.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 13 children are affected by a food allergy. Food allergies however are not just limited to children, and research shows that it is possible for teenagers and adults to develop food allergies.

There are no cures for food allergies, and strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction. However, there is a new FDA approved treatment for peanut allergy that many patients/parents have heard about called Palforzia- it is a desensitization for peanuts done both in the doctor’s office and at home. Please note that we are not offering Palforzia at this time due to COVID 19 pandemic precautions/concerns.

Common Allergen List

Some common food groups that most often produce an allergic reaction are:

  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts

The severity of these allergic reactions depends on the person’s immune system, which may develop and change overtime. Symptoms can range from being extremely minor or serious, with the worst-case scenarios even causing death.

Food Allergy Symptoms to Look Out For:

  • Hives and itching
  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, difficulty speaking
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction to food that can cause constriction of the airways or cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, and shock. Anaphylaxis can be life threatening.

Food Allergy Treatment

Treating a food allergy reaction safely and intelligently is extremely important. Antihistamines are a great drug to have on hand, and they can be used to counter minor food allergy reactions. Antihistamines can be prescribed or purchased over the counter, making them one the more available options to have on hand. Epinephrine is an immediate injection that that is used for much more severe allergic reactions. If you ever have a case where you need to use epinephrine, it should be seen as an emergency and you should also dial 911 or rush to an emergency room immediately.  

According to the CDC, over 40% of food based allergic reactions in children require emergency medical treatment. This means that planning ahead and acting now by scheduling an appointment for an allergy test with ENT and Allergy Specialists is the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe. 610-415-1100