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Food Allergies Specialist

Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc.

Allergy Specialists located in West Covina, CA & Pasadena, CA

Though food allergies often develop in young children, they can also make their first appearance in adulthood. At any age, a suspected food allergy should be evaluated by Claire Smigiel, MD, Erica Chen, MD, and the team at Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc., in Pasadena and West Covina, California. Their team can determine which foods triggered your symptoms and teach you how to eliminate all traces of the food from your diet so you can prevent a potentially severe allergic reaction. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or book online today.

Food Allergies Q & A

What causes food allergies?

A food allergy develops when your immune system overreacts to proteins found in foods. The immune system identifies the protein as a harmful substance and triggers an allergic reaction every time you consume that protein.

You can develop an allergy to any type of food. However, these foods cause 90% of all food allergies:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy

Food allergies typically develop before children reach the age of two years. In infants and children, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat are most likely to trigger an allergy. By comparison, 40-60% of fish and shellfish allergies first appear in adults.

Children outgrow most food allergies by the time they become teens, but there are two exceptions: peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut and tree nut allergies usually persist into adulthood.

What symptoms develop due to a food allergy?

Food allergy symptoms usually appear within two hours after eating, causing one or more of the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Itchy mouth or ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Skin rash or itchy skin

As soon as you suspect a food allergy, it’s important to schedule an appointment with Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc., so they can verify if you have an allergy, give you a treatment plan, and be sure you’re prepared for anaphylaxis.

What is anaphylaxis?

Food allergies can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic reaction occurs within minutes of consuming the allergen and causes symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint or confused
  • Swollen lips, tongue, and throat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain

Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc., can prescribe a self-injectable epinephrine pen for patients who are at risk for anaphylaxis. When symptoms appear, you should inject epinephrine and call 911.

How do you treat food allergies?

There’s currently only one treatment for a food allergy, and that’s to eliminate all traces of the protein from your diet. Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc., performs comprehensive allergy testing to determine your allergens and help you develop a plan for removing all traces of the food from your diet.

In addition to avoiding the obvious food sources, you also need to check the food labels on every item you buy to be sure it doesn’t contain hidden sources of your allergen.

To get immediate treatment for a suspected food allergy, call Allergy and Asthma Specialist Doctors, Inc., or schedule an appointment online.