Diagnosing and treating food allergies - WSPA.com

WNCN News

Diagnosing and treating food allergies

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

One out of every three people says they have a food allergy or they modify the family diet for a family member who has one. Dr. Kevin Campbell talks about how common food allergies are and how to diagnose and treat them.

Five percent of children have clinically proven allergic reactions to foods. In teens and adults, food allergies occur in about 4 percent of the total population. 

According to Food Allergy Research & Education, there are more than 200,000 emergency room visits a year for food allergy reactions.

According to a nationwide study, one food that affects nearly seven million Americans is fish.

But experts say there is a difference between food allergies and food intolerance. A food allergy is an immune system reaction to a protein in the food. The food triggers the immune system to produce a protein called IgE and releases cells called mast cells. These result in the release of substance that causes symptoms of the allergy. Food intolerance is far more common can involve GI upset and is not nearly as serious. 

In adults, the foods that most often trigger allergic reactions include fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, such as walnuts. Problem foods for children can include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.

Symptoms of food allergies:

  • Itching or swelling in your mouth
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps and pain
  • Hives or eczema
  • Tightening of the throat and trouble breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure 

How to diagnose a food allergy 

Your health care provider may use a detailed history, elimination diet, and skin and blood tests to diagnose a food allergy.

The allergist will take a thorough medical history, followed by a physical examination. Patients are asked about the foods they eat, the frequency, severity and nature of symptoms, and the amount of time between eating a food and any reaction.

Allergy skin tests may determine which foods, if any, trigger allergic symptoms. In skin testing, a small amount of extract made from the food is placed on the back or arm. If a raised bump or small hive develops within 20 minutes, it indicates a possible allergy. If it does not develop, the test is negative. It is uncommon for someone with a negative skin test to have an IgE-mediated food allergy.

Treatment

When you have food allergies you must be prepared to treat an accidental exposure. Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace, and carry an auto-injector device containing epinephrine. People with food allergies should always carry an auto-injectable epinephrine device to be used in the event of an anaphylactic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include difficulty breathing, dizziness or loss of consciousness. If you have any of these symptoms in the context of eating, use the epinephrine auto-injector and immediately call 911.

But experts say the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the food you are allergic to.  After you and your health care provider have identified the foods to which you are sensitive, you must remove them from your diet.

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Union, NAACP plan 3 Labor Day rallies across NC

    Union, NAACP plan 3 Labor Day rallies across NC

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:59:20 GMT
    Union and civil rights leaders are joining together for a series of rallies and news conferences across North Carolina on Labor Day.
    Union and civil rights leaders are joining together for a series of rallies and news conferences across North Carolina on Labor Day.
  • Family of Sampson Co. house fire victims pay respects

    Family of Sampson Co. house fire victims pay respects

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:36 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:36:18 GMT
    Six people, representing three different families, died in a house fire over the weekend.Six people, representing three different families, died in a house fire over the weekend.

    Family and friends of six people who died in a house fire paid their respects Sunday evening. Flames ripped through a mobile home on Gibbs Road just outside the town of Garland in Sampson County early Saturday morning.

    Family and friends of six people who died in a house fire paid their respects Sunday evening. Flames ripped through a mobile home on Gibbs Road just outside the town of Garland in Sampson County early Saturday morning.

  • Dr. Campbell: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Dr. Campbell: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:00:16 GMT
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Deputies: Powdery Substance Found In Iva Mailbox; Hazmat Responded

    Deputies: Powdery Substance Found In Iva Mailbox; Hazmat Responded

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:22 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:22:45 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Anderson County Fire, HAZMAT, EMS and Sheriff's Office responded to a call of a powdery substance found in a mailbox in Iva Sunday. 
    According to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, a call came in about a person locating a powder in a mailbox on Continent Road.Once crews arrived on scene, it was determined that the substance had no biological threat. 
    Anderson County Fire, HAZMAT, EMS and Sheriff's Office responded to a call of a powdery substance found in a mailbox in Iva Sunday. 
    According to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, a call came in about a person locating a powder in a mailbox on Continent Road.Once crews arrived on scene, it was determined that the substance had no biological threat. 
  • Child, Infant Killed After Boat Capsizes

    Child, Infant Killed After Boat Capsizes

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:17 AM EDT2014-09-01 08:17:41 GMT
    Child and Infant Killed After Boat CapsizesChild and Infant Killed After Boat Capsizes
    Anderson County Emergency Officials have recovered the body of an infant in Lake Hartwell after a boat capsized Sunday evening.

    Anderson County Emergency Officials have recovered the body of an infant in Lake Hartwell after a boat capsized Sunday evening.  Deputies tell us a 9 year old child died when a boat overturned.
  • Para-Cycling World Championships Boost Local Economy

    Para-Cycling World Championships Boost Local Economy

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:45 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:45:02 GMT
    The UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships are being hosted by the City of Greenville. It's the first time the event has been held in the U.S. since 1998.The UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships are being hosted by the City of Greenville. It's the first time the event has been held in the U.S. since 1998.

    Organizers of the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Greenville say the five-day event could have a multi-million dollar impact.

    Organizers of the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Greenville say the five-day event could have a multi-million dollar impact.

Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.