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The importance of understanding food allergens in Elgin

Understanding Allergens in Elgin
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Food Allergies are becoming more common in children, which has resulted in an increase of allergies in adolescents and adults. Most of these allergies are diagnosed during childhood and they remain through adulthood. Today, millions of Americans are learning to cope and live everyday life with food allergies.

It is important first to understand that there is a distinction between food intolerance and food allergies. Food intolerances are more common than food allergies, but actual allergies are much more serious.

Food allergies are an abnormal immune system response to a specific food. Food allergies generally develop after your body has been in contact with the allergen, which is why some people with a peanut allergy can have consumed them previously without a reaction. Food allergies are often more prevalent in families that have history of other common allergies such as hay fever, or asthma.

On the other hand, food intolerances do not involve the immune system. They are a chemical reaction to the substance. Common intolerances include gluten, fructose, lactose, and corn. In many, intolerances are often outgrown.

Common symptoms of food allergies can range in severity from abdominal cramps and itchy lips to difficulty breathing or even shock. Allergic reactions to food are frequently known to become severe after multiple exposures, which is why they can be a very serious condition for many people.

Some of the most common food allergies include:

  • Peanut’s
  • Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Eggs

Identifying food allergens can be a difficult process. Sometimes it can be obvious, but many times, it is not. The discovery process can take a bit of monitoring and time. Some of the most important things to keep track of are the timing of the reaction, what you ate, how the food was cooked, what spices or condiments were used, and if anyone else had symptoms.

Diagnosis of food allergies is typically not made on just this information. An elimination diet may be suggested to help confirm the allergy. Allergy testing may also be suggested for accurate diagnosis.

If you are in the Elgin area, and suspect that you may be demonstrating symptoms of a food allergy, call us to schedule an appointment. With proper diagnosis and guidelines, we can help you manage your food allergy.


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Dr. Noga Askenazi, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.

Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.