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>>

  • Missing FL teen may be in NC

    Missing FL teen may be in NC

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:22:04 GMT
    Cierra Faye Smith, 14, was reported missing by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Cierra Faye Smith, 14, was reported missing by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
    The Goldsboro Police Department needs the public's help in locating a missing teen from Florida who may be in Wayne or Harnett County.
    The Goldsboro Police Department needs the public's help in locating a missing teen from Florida who may be in Wayne or Harnett County.
  • Raleigh police investigate shooting in downtown

    Raleigh police investigate shooting in downtown

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:09:02 GMT
    Raleigh Police on the scene of a shooting on West South Street.Raleigh Police on the scene of a shooting on West South Street.
    Raleigh Police are investigating a shooting on West South Street near Dawson Street in downtown Wednesday morning.
    Raleigh Police are investigating a shooting on West South Street near Dawson Street in downtown Wednesday morning.
  • Tips for smart back-to-school shopping

    Tips for smart back-to-school shopping

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:03:52 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Parents and students across North Carolina are preparing for traditional calendar schools to start back from summer break. That means parents will be stocking up on the necessary back to school supplies.
    Parents and students across North Carolina are preparing for traditional calendar schools to start back from summer break. That means parents will be stocking up on the necessary back to school supplies.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • GA Man Leads Anderson Co. Deputies On Chase

    GA Man Leads Anderson Co. Deputies On Chase

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:12:33 GMT
    Nicholas Jose SisnerosNicholas Jose Sisneros
    A Georgia man is under arrest after deputies say he led them on a chase by car and foot in Anderson County. Nicholas Jose Sisneros, 26, is charged with failure to stop for blue lights and open container by the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.
    A Georgia man is under arrest after deputies say he led them on a chase by car and foot in Anderson County. Nicholas Jose Sisneros, 26, is charged with failure to stop for blue lights and open container by the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.
  • Greenville Zoo Giraffe Autumn Delivers Stillborn Calf

    Greenville Zoo Giraffe Autumn Delivers Stillborn Calf

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:49 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:49:45 GMT
    FacebookFacebook
    Sad news from the Greenville Zoo. Autumn the giraffe delivered a stillborn calf at the Greenville Zoo early Wednesday morning.
    Sad news from the Greenville Zoo. Autumn the giraffe delivered a stillborn calf at the Greenville Zoo early Wednesday morning. Zoo officials announced Autumn is doing well after the delivery at 3:25 a.m. She will remain off the exhibit Wednesday so zoo staff can closely observe her.
  • Active Shooter Training In Rutherford Co. Wednesday

    Active Shooter Training In Rutherford Co. Wednesday

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:25 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:25:06 GMT
    Officers are taking part in active shooter training scenarios around E. Rutherford Middle School.Officers are taking part in active shooter training scenarios around E. Rutherford Middle School.
    Law enforcement, emergency responders, and Rutherford County School staff will be training for an active shooter situation on Wednesday.Over 400 teachers and staff will be placed inside East Rutherford Middle and High School.The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, EMS, fire, police, 911, and medical helicopters from Mission and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center will be performing in the exercise.
    Law enforcement, emergency responders, and Rutherford County School staff will be training for an active shooter situation on Wednesday.Over 400 teachers and staff will be placed inside East Rutherford Middle and High School.The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, EMS, fire, police, 911, and medical helicopters from Mission and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center will be performing in the exercise.
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.