Over 50 million Americans have allergies, making them the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Of all of those cases, food allergies affect an estimated 4% of adults and 4-6% of children. They can begin at any time in life, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. So how do you know if you're sensitive to a particular food or if it's an allergy?
Unlike being intolerant to different foods and experiencing digestive issues, a food allergy involves your immune system. These issues occur when your immune system overreacts to something harmless and triggers an uncomfortable — and sometimes life-threatening — reaction.
Our team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, shared these common signs of food allergies. If they sound familiar, you should schedule an appointment for allergy testing.
First, it’s important to note that you can have an allergic reaction to any item. However, 90% of all food allergies are due to:
If you respond to any of these items, it could be a sign of a food allergy.
Allergic reactions to food usually begin within minutes or hours of consumption, though some can take 4-6 hours or longer to arise. Because they involve your immune system, your symptoms can affect any part of your body, ranging from your skin and gastrointestinal tract to your cardiovascular and respiratory system.
Common signs of a food allergy include:
Severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, can also occur with food allergies. These symptoms can impair your ability to breathe, cause your body to go into shock, and even cause death.
It can be tricky to confirm a food allergy, so it’s essential to see an allergy specialist. Our experts work closely with you to reach a diagnosis by:
Once we confirm your allergy, we typically recommend avoiding all forms of your trigger. This can be challenging, but we can provide strategies so you can feel confident eating away from home. However, if you have a severe food allergy, you will likely need an injection kit with you at all times.
Ready to get to the bottom of your food allergy symptoms? Contact one of our convenient Advanced Allergy & Asthma locations in Ogden today.