Managing a food allergy can be tricky. While labeling has helped people avoid certain foods, some foods still exist. If you suspect that you have an allergy to one type of food, you should contact your healthcare provider and get a prescription for an oral food challenge. The challenge should be done in an allergist-approved facility with emergency equipment and medication. Avoiding the foods that cause problems is the primary way to manage your condition. Make sure you read the ingredients on food labels and make substitutions if possible.
Medication is used to treat allergic reactions, although there is no permanent cure for food allergy. Medications include epinephrine, an injection of epinephrine, and antihistamines. Prostaglandin synthase inhibitors and corticosteroids are used for treatment of allergies, but they only address the symptoms and don’t change the course of the disease. Some countries also have anti-IgE monoclonal antibodies.
A person with a food allergy must avoid similar foods that contain the same allergens. For example, a person with a shrimp allergy may also be allergic to oysters and other shellfish. This is known as cross-reactivity. There are two different types of food allergies: oral allergy syndrome and severe birch pollen allergy. Those with an oral allergy can react to both birch pollen and apple peel. However, it is important to be aware that some children outgrow their food allergies.
An allergy to certain foods is usually an IgE-mediated reaction, which occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies a protein in a food. A tiny amount of this food can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. This type of food allergy occurs most commonly in children, although older individuals can suffer from it as well. In these cases, it’s important to seek medical attention to treat the allergy before it becomes more serious.
When you’re identifying your food allergy, you have to carefully read the ingredient list. Many allergen-triggering ingredients appear in places that you wouldn’t expect. For example, peanuts, for example, might be included in salad dressings. You’ll probably have to ask the restaurant staff about the ingredients in the food if the allergen is not already listed. However, if you’re able to read the ingredients list, your allergy diagnosis is more likely to be confirmed.
The most common type of food allergy is IgE-mediated. This type involves antibodies produced by the immune system. It carries a higher risk for anaphylaxis compared to non-IgE-mediated food allergy. The latter is more likely to be life-threatening, and some people may experience symptoms of both types. Symptoms of either type may appear suddenly. If you suspect you have a food allergy, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Skin testing is a common way to identify a food allergy. However, skin testing can be dangerous in severe cases and may not be an accurate diagnosis. In addition, blood tests may be required to determine the specific type of food allergy. If a skin test has proven to be inaccurate, your doctor may perform blood tests to check the level of specific IgE antibodies in your blood. If a blood test is positive, you should eliminate all suspected foods from your diet. You should also carry emergency medications on hand so you can take care of your condition in case of an emergency.