Crystal Lake patients ask, “What are food allergies and what are the most common triggers?”
We’ve all been there, one minute you’re enjoying a nice meal and the next minute you are feeling less than stellar. You may be wondering if you were allergic to something you ate. Sometimes, what you are experiencing is food intolerance. However, for many people, they are seeing the first signs of a food allergy, which can cause serious sickness or in some cases, death.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, it is important to seek the aid of a professional to find out if your reaction is indeed an allergy. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/FOOD ALLERGY CENTER, Dr. Noga Askenazi, Dr. Dipika Patel, Dr. Eugenia Hahn provide extensive food allergy testing to help patients find the source of their allergic reactions.
What are food allergies?
Food allergies cause the body to have an abnormal response to a particular food as the immune system reacts. Allergens are proteins that are within the food you consume. Once the food enters your bloodstream or it is digested, the allergens target organs such as your skin and nose, causing an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can occur in as little as a few minutes or as much as an hour after consuming the allergen. Some of the most common signs of an allergic reaction to food include itching in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, a drop in blood pressure, or even respiratory reactions like asthma.
Some of the most common foods to trigger an allergic reaction are:
- Tree nuts (ex. Walnuts)
- Shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab)
Of these foods, peanuts and tree nuts are the most likely to cause deadly reactions called anaphylaxis.
Many children outgrow allergies to items like milk or soy. Outgrowing allergies to nuts or shellfish are much less likely. Most adults keep their allergies for the rest of their lives.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
When you come to our office for food allergy testing, we will begin by gathering a detailed history of your reactions to food. The purpose of this is to determine whether you are experiencing food intolerance or an actual allergy. In some cases, we may ask you to complete a food journal to gain more insight into potential causes of the reactions.
Once we determine that you might be experiencing an allergic reaction, we offer a variety of tests to determine the cause of your allergy.
If you believe you may be suffering from a food allergy, call us today to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Crystal Lake, Elgin, and Lake Barrington for your convenience.