Food allergy symptoms appear within minutes of eating the food containing the allergen. But in some cases, the symptoms occur after a few hours as well.
Food Allergy Symptoms
Common food allergy symptoms include the following:
- Red, itchy skin or hives
- vomiting, diarrhea or stomach cramps
- Itchy or stuffy nose, itchy or teary eyes or sneezing
Some food allergies may cause anaphylaxis which means severe reaction. Signs of anaphylaxis include the following:
- Wheezing, trouble breathing or chest tightness
- Lump in the throat, throat tightness or hoarseness
- Tingling in feet, lips, hands or scalp
If you experience any of the above severe food allergy symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Food Allergy Diagnosis
Proper diagnosis of food allergy is highly important. Studies have proved that most of the food allergies may actually be due to other conditions like food intolerance. Doctors often recommend blood and skin tests. In order to confirm an allergy your allergist or immunologist may ask you take a food challenge under their care.
Food Allergy Treatment & Care
The first step to manage your condition is proper food allergy diagnosis by an allergist or immunologist. After food allergy confirmation, the treatment plan is to strictly avoid the food causing that allergy. In case it is food intolerance, you can still have that food but in small quantities so that it doesn’t cause any reaction.
Currently food allergy does not have any cure. There are no medications to prevent the reactions as well. But still you can take some steps to manage your condition. The most important step is to avoid coming in contact with the proteins present in food causing allergy.
When buying, always make sure you read the food labels. So that you do not pick up some thing to which you are allergic. When eating at restaurants or when having foods prepared by friends or family, enquire about the ingredients used. In case you have severe allergy to food, make sure you complete an anaphylaxis action plan. Also keep your auto-injectable epinephrine with you all the time. You can use this in case of an anaphylactic reaction. Antihistamines help to relieve food allergy symptoms in case of milder reactions. But first discuss this approach with your allergist or immunologist before implementing.