Food Allergy FAQs

When it comes to food allergies, they may be a slight inconvenience for you when you go to a restaurant or you may have to be incredibly careful about what you eat. For some people, a mild food allergy may only present with signs of stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating. In others, however, they cannot even eat food if it was prepared in the same room or manufacturer that the food they are allergic to was produced. They may also experience extreme reactions to food allergies, including hives, bloody stools, and anaphylaxis. When this is the case, whether you have a mild food allergy or a severe food allergy, you should speak with an allergy specialist as soon as possible if you have any question about what you might be allergic to or how best to treat this allergy. If you would like to speak with an allergy specialist today about your food allergies, please reach out to a doctor, like an allergist in McLean, VA from Black & Kletz Allergy, today. 

What are the common symptoms of a food allergy?

If you have not experienced allergies before, you may not be sure which symptoms to look out for. Some of the most common symptoms of food allergies are:

  • Respiratory Issues. These problems can range for stuffy noses, itchy eyes, and coughing to shortness of breath or wheezing.
  • Skin Problems. Another common sign of a food allergy is skin problems. This may present as a rash, swelling, or hives and can present in different areas around the body including the mouth.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues. These symptoms may be tightening in the throat, swelling of different parts of the body including the tongue or lips, nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea.

It is important to note that when you suffer from food allergies you may only present with one of these symptoms or you may present with any combination of these symptoms in different levels of severity.

More Severe Allergic Reaction

While food allergies may be mild and present with only a handful of the symptoms above, it is incredibly important that you know if your food allergy causes anaphylaxis. This severe allergic reaction can cause your blood pressure to drop, it can cause your throat to close quickly, and it can cause you to stop breathing. When this happens, you may lose consciousness or it could even cause death. Many allergy specialists recommend that people with severe food allergies travel with an EpiPen to ensure they have some form of protection if their food is contaminated in any way with something they are allergic to.

How do allergy specialists treat food allergies?

Many allergy specialists recommend epinephrine, a medication that you can use for more severe reactions. For mild symptoms, they may recommend antihistamines. In general, though, one of the best ways to avoid symptoms of any severity would be to avoid the food that causes a reaction altogether.

When it comes to food allergies, it is always important to know whether or not you can safely eat something someone places in front of you. If you are concerned that you may have food allergies or if you would like help taking control of these allergies, please reach out to an office now.