Some people’s immune system reacts to specific proteins in the food as if it was some harmful pathogen. Such people are known to have food allergies. As per the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, almost 5% of children and 4% of adults suffer from one or the other kinds of food allergies in the US. Most food allergies develop in childhood, but most of the children outgrow them. Foods that most commonly cause food allergy are peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, eggs, soybeans, and milk.
The symptoms of food allergy vary from mild to severe and affect each person differently. Some common symptoms are facial swelling, wheezing, tingling in the mouth, skin rash, vomiting, etc. In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.
To diagnose an allergy, the immunologists will suggest food allergy testing in Novi MI. The most common tests to diagnose a food allergy are skin prick test, blood test, food journal, and immunologists supervised oral food challenge. The test’s purpose is to find the allergen and eliminate it from the diet to avoid any triggers.
Once the cause of allergy is established, the best way to manage a food allergy is by avoiding it. For certain foods, FDA has recently approved a treatment among other treatments in review for food allergies called “food oral immune therapy” or simply food desensitization. If you choose to just avoid foods you are allergic to, you will have to read the labels carefully before buying foods and beverages to avoid any complications. In case of emergencies following drugs for food allergy are helpful:
- Epinephrine: this drug is suggested for people with anaphylactic food reactions. It is injected and acts as a bronchodilator. Epinephrine helps in keeping the blood pressure up and constricting blood vessels. It even relaxes the airways to ease breathing difficulties. It should be administered as soon as the ingestion of the food allergen is discovered and the first symptoms appear. Immunologists suggest that people with a food allergy should carry Epinephrine with them all the time. People with food allergies are trained to administer the injection to use in case of emergency.
- Corticosteroids: This type of drug is usually given via IV for a quick reversal of the symptoms of the allergic response. These drugs help in reducing the swelling and other allergic reactions like itchy or stuffy nose.
- Antihistamines: antihistamines are not recommended as first line medications for food reactions as they could mask a life-threatening food anaphylactic reaction. Ask the immunologists before buying over-the-counter antihistamines. They will make the suggestions keeping the food allergy symptoms and other medical histories in consideration.
Don’t take the drug for food allergy by yourself. Please consult an expert immunologist at The Allergy Suite to find the drug for food allergy in Novi, MI that will ease the symptoms and make it easier for you to manage the allergy. The experts will also help you draft a clear plan of action in case of the onset of food allergy symptoms to manage the food allergy well. To know more, contact us here.