It’s crucial to recognize that food intolerance or sensitivity can be incredibly uncomfortable. These reactions occur when you eat something that doesn’t agree with you, and it causes a physical response within your digestive system, like bloating, diarrhea, or an upset stomach.
Unlike food intolerances, a food allergy causes your immune system to react to what you eat. This may seem inconsequential, but it can lead to far more dangerous results, including coma and death.
Common signs of a food allergy include:
- Hives, eczema, or itchy skin
- Nasal congestion
- Swelling anywhere in the body, including the tongue, lips, throat, or face
- Itching or tingling in the mouth
- Trouble breathing or wheezing
- Diarrhea or abdominal pain
- Vomiting or nausea
- Dizziness or fainting
Our team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, understands the risks of living with food allergies. That’s why we can help safely identify whether you have an allergy or intolerance and outline a strategy to help you avoid future problems.
It all starts with a consultation
The first step in determining food allergies involves talking to an expert. We recommend documenting your concerns in advance to help answer questions during this consultation.
When looking for a food allergy, you should keep track of:
- What you ate and how much
- What symptoms you experienced
- When your reaction occurred
- If you always have this problem when eating the food
- Whether you react to other foods
- If you needed medical treatment because of your reaction
Based on this consultation, we could recommend allergy testing.
Testing for food allergies
Anything can cause an allergic reaction, including certain seeds. However, around 90% of all allergies are linked to eight specific items, including:
- Milk and eggs
- Fish and shellfish
- Peanuts and tree nuts
- Wheat and soy
To start narrowing down the possible culprits, we often begin with these common causes and specific items on your list of suspects. Then, we do a skin or blood test to confirm our findings.
When you have a skin test, we place a tiny amount of the possible allergen on your back or arm while giving the area a minuscule scratch or prick. This allows trace amounts of the substance to penetrate the surface, and we can check for signs of reaction. If one occurs, you could have an allergy.
Blood tests can also confirm allergies. With this approach, we take a blood sample to test potential allergens by measuring the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) in your system.
Once we confirm the presence of a food allergy, we can offer personalized guidance about managing it. In most cases, the best approach for food allergy involves completely avoiding the item. This may seem tricky, but we can offer pointers on safely eating at restaurants and in your own home.
For people with severe food allergies, we also offer expert care to help avoid serious complications if you end up in contact with the allergen. This often involves injection kits and how to spot a medical emergency.
Think you have a food allergy? We can help you reach a diagnosis safely. To learn more about your testing options, contact Advanced Allergy & Asthma to schedule an appointment today.