Food Allergy

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Food Allergy

A food allergy is an immune response that happens when the body incorrectly identifies a certain food as a threat. The action of the immune system creates a range of symptoms throughout the body. Some people have anaphylactic reactions, which are life-threatening emergencies.

Common Food Allergies

Nearly any food can cause an allergy, but the most common food allergens are:

  • peanuts

  • tree nuts

  • milk

  • eggs

  • shellfish

  • fish

  • wheat

  • soy

  • some fruits and vegetables

Food Allergy Awareness on Halloween

Did you know that one in 13 children have food allergies?

On Halloween and beyond, you can help kids and adults with allergies stay safe. Be informed about common allergens and the signs of an allergic reaction. Do something for yourself by getting tested for food allergies or sensitivities. Also, consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple way to make Halloween fun for everyone, including kids with food allergies. Put a teal pumpkin outside your home to show that you’re offering safe, non-food treats. You can still offer candy in a separate bowl, too!

Examples of non-food treats include stickers, glow sticks, small toys, bouncy balls, and spooky trinkets. You can buy a teal pumpkin from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) or make your own.

WellNow Allergy offers asthma testing service at all of our locations: 

Call or use our convenient online scheduling to your allergy test today.

Types of Food Allergies

There are three different types of food allergies. Food sensitivities or intolerance will also be discussed.

1) IgE-mediated food allergy:

This is the most common type of food allergy. It occurs when the immune system produces the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). Symptoms happen within a few minutes after eating the allergen. Anaphylaxis is more common with this type of reaction.

Symptoms of IgE-mediated food allergy can include:

  • Hives

  • Swelling, especially of the face, mouth or throat

  • Itching or tingling inside the mouth

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Itchy eyes

  • Sneezing

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. This is an emergency that can happen suddenly and worsen rapidly. If you see someone in anaphylaxis, give epinephrine if trained to do so, and call an ambulance immediately.

In addition to the symptoms above, a person in anaphylaxis may have:

  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking

  • Chest tightness

  • Tongue swelling

  • Dizziness or feeling faint

  • Collapse

2) Non-IgE-mediated food allergy:

In this type of allergy, immunoglobulin E is not involved. Instead, other immune cells cause the reaction. After eating, it can take several hours or even days for the reaction to develop.

Symptoms of a non-IgE-mediated food allergy include:

  • Red, itchy skin (but not raised hives)

  • Eczema

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Colic in babies

3) Mixed IgE-mediated and Non-IgE-mediated food allergies:

In a mixed reaction, a person experiences symptoms from both immunoglobulin E (IgE) and other immune cells.

About Food Sensitivities

While allergies are caused by your immune system’s reaction to an allergen, food sensitivity or intolerance is caused by the digestive system. Bloating, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, gas and nausea can all be symptoms of a food sensitivity or intolerance.

How to know if you have food allergies or sensitivities: Many people find out they have a food allergy when they react to eating a certain food. You can also find out in a safer way by getting food allergy testing.

Food Allergy Testing FAQ

How is food allergy and sensitivity testing done?

Food allergy testing can be done by a skin test, blood test, elimination diet, and oral challenge test. In addition to testing for food allergies, it is possible to test for food sensitivities using a blood test. This can be particularly useful because food sensitivity reactions don’t always occur right away, so they can be harder to identify. By finding out which foods you’re allergic or sensitive to, you can make informed food choices to improve your health.

Where can I get food allergy or food sensitivity testing?

Speak to a WellNow Allergy specialist to request testing for food allergies or sensitivities. At your first WellNow Allergy appointment, your doctor will start with an exam and consultation and recommend the best test(s) for you. Your test results and personalized food allergy and sensitivity plan will be ready the same day!

[Make an appointment now at a WellNow Allergy near you.]

How should I prepare for food allergy testing?

Some medications can interfere with allergy and sensitivity tests. Preparation will depend on the type of food allergy or sensitivity test you’re planning to take. When you call to make your appointment, our staff will let you know which medications you should stop taking in the time leading up to your test.

How much does a food allergy test cost?

Costs can vary based on each individual. Please call a WellNow Allergy Center to learn more.

You deserve the chance to be safe from allergies and uncomfortable food sensitivities. Get ready for a healthier life! Make your appointment at a WellNow Allergy now for expert diagnostics and advice on managing your allergies.

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