Up to 6% of adults and children in the United States have a food allergy. Though symptoms vary, food allergies can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. At Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology in Pleasanton, California, experienced board-certified physician Farinaz Farrahi, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating food allergies. If you have concerns about a food allergy for you or your child, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Food allergies are an abnormal immune system response to specific substances in food. When you consume certain foods, your immune system overreacts and attacks the substance, creating an allergic reaction.
You can develop an allergy to any food at any time in your life. However, food allergies are more common in children. The most common food allergens include:
Allergies to seeds, including mustard and sesame seeds, are also on the rise.
Food allergy symptoms vary in type and severity but may affect your skin, respiratory system, or gastrointestinal tract.
Common food allergy symptoms include:
Food allergies can also trigger anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that causes shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical care.
Food allergy reactions can occur within two hours after eating but often happen within minutes. Some people may not have an allergic reaction to a food until hours later, which may make it hard identifying the food responsible for the reaction.
Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology performs a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose food allergies. During your exam, your provider reviews your symptoms and the suspected food allergens, as well as your medical and family history.
They then conduct allergy testing to determine the food responsible for the reaction. Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology may perform a skin prick test or a blood test to determine the types of foods causing your allergies.
The primary treatment for food allergies is eliminating the food allergen from your diet.
Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology can talk to you about the food allergen and how to read food labels to find hidden sources, as well as provide you with a list of foods safe to eat. You may also be provided with tools to help you find safe items to eat at restaurants.
If your food allergies are severe, Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology may provide you with an epinephrine pen to prevent anaphylaxis in case you’re unknowingly exposed to the allergen.
If you have concerns about food allergies, contact Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology or schedule a consultation online today.