Food allergies are a serious medical condition. 15-million people in the U.S. have a food allergy. The immune system is supposed to identify and kill germs that make people sick. However, the immune system can get it wrong and identify a food protein as a bacteria or virus. This malfunction results in a food allergy. The body reacts by making huge amounts of antibodies to fight the food allergen. Histamines and other chemicals are released to make the allergic reaction.
Interestingly, eight foods are involved in ninety percent of all food allergies in the U.S. These foods include:
2. tree nuts
Symptoms can appear within minutes or hours of eating a food allergen. Mild symptoms include hives, eczema, redness of the skin and eyes and stomach pain. More severe symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, shortness of breath and turning blue. However, one should never try and diagnose a food allergy on their own. Consult with the Allergist in Evansville, IN if a problem is suspected. In fact, one should be examined by an Allergist at Accredited Asthma Allergy and Food Intolerance Center. The first thing the Allergist Evansville IN will do is take a person’s history. The questions are aimed at finding out whether a food allergen is causing the symptoms. Next, the Allergist Doctor C. Steven Smith performs tests to diagnose an allergy including:
1. skin prick test
2. blood test
3. oral food challenge
4. trial elimination diet
Once a food allergy is diagnosed, the doctor works with the patient to make a food allergy treatment plan. Mild reactions may be treated with antihistamines or steroids. However, patients who may have severe reactions are prescribed epinephrine. Epinephrine is the only medicine that reverses symptoms of a severe reaction. The medicine comes in an auto injector usually referred to as an epipen. People should inject themselves at the first sign of an attack and call 9-1-1. They still need to be checked by a doctor to make sure the episode is resolved. The best plan for people with food allergies is work with their allergist and avoid the problem food.
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