Northbrook residents ask, “What are the most common food allergy symptoms?”

Northbrook residents ask, “What are the most common food allergy symptoms?”

Nearly 2 percent of adults and 8 percent of children in the United States are affected by some form of food allergy. Food allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to certain foods that are normally harmless. Symptoms from food allergies can occur even after a minuscule amount of the food has been ingested. Often food allergies appear more in people who have family members with allergies. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, Dr. Askenazi and the staff work with patients to determine the cause of food allergies.

How do I know if I have a food allergy?

Food intolerance is something that often is confused with food allergies. Intolerances do not involve the immune system and are simply an abnormal response to the food or additive. An example would be an individual having an upset stomach after drinking milk. This type of reaction is typical of lactose intolerance and is a result of the person lacking proper enzymes to break down the milk sugars.

Food allergens are usually proteins. These proteins have been known to cause reactions, even if they are cooked or they have already begun to digest. Some allergens only cause reactions if consumed before being cooked. When these types of reactions occur, it is typically only on the mouth or throat. Some of the most common food allergies are cow’s milk protein, peanuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish, tree nuts, and soy.

What are the most common symptoms of food allergies?

The number one allergic reaction to a food is hives on the skin. Hives are itchy, red, swollen patches of skin that can appear and disappear rather suddenly.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash around the mouth
  • Swelling of the mouth and throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling of the stomach

In some cases, allergic reactions can be severe and even life-threatening. These types of reactions, called anaphylaxis, are systemic allergic reactions. They usually begin with warm, tingling feelings in the mouth and can cause shortness of breath, anxiety, vomiting, and diarrhea. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical treatment immediately. Symptoms can be reversed with epinephrine, antihistamines, and other measures.

If you are in the Northbrook area and you would like to schedule an appointment for food allergy testing, call our office today at (847) 888-8802.

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | 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, Ascension Health, 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.


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.