Food allergies affect 4-6% of children and up to 4% of adults. These allergies cause varying symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening. At Advanced Allergy Associates in New Orleans, Louisiana, Cheryl Williams, MD, provides expert evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for common food allergies. Call today for an evaluation or use the online tool to request an appointment.
When your immune system has an irregular response to normally safe substances, it’s an allergy. Foods can cause such responses in your immune system, resulting in an allergic reaction.
Technically, you can develop an allergy to any food, any time in your life. But, food allergies are most common in children. Sometimes these allergies go away as a child gets older, but some allergies can persist through adulthood.
Food allergies are more common than many people realize and most often occur due to consumption of:
Symptoms of a food allergy may appear on the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or respiratory system.
Symptoms usually appear within 30-60 minutes of consuming an offending food. Occasionally, symptoms can show up hours or days later.
Symptoms of a food allergy include:
Severe food allergies can result in an anaphylactic reaction. This life-threatening condition can close off your airway, causing extreme shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires immediate emergency treatment.
Food allergies may require some detective work to identify. Dr. Williams may ask you to keep a food diary for several days to identify a trigger. If you have an idea of what is causing your allergic reaction, she will perform a skin prick test or blood test to determine what is causing your allergies.
The best way to treat a food allergy is to eliminate the offending food from your diet. Dr. Williams can help you identify hidden sources of your specific allergen and learn how to read food labels.
If you have a severe food allergy that puts you at risk of anaphylaxis, Dr. Williams provides you with an epinephrine pen in case you do accidentally come in contact with the allergen.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, set up an appointment at Advanced Allergy Associates right away. Call the office or use the online tool to request an appointment.