Food allergies are common and affect up to 2% of adults and 8% of children in the United States. Like other allergies, food allergies cause a range of symptoms that can be severe and life-threatening. The allergy, asthma, and immunology specialists at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group are experts in the diagnosis and management of food allergies. If you suspect you or your child has a food allergy, contact the office most convenient to you, which includes San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City, California, by phone or book an appointment online today.
Food allergies refer to an adverse immune system reaction to components found in food or food products. Preformed antibodies to the food component cause the reaction.
These antibodies bind to special cells in your bloodstream that release the chemicals responsible for the allergic reaction.
You can develop an allergy to any food. However, the most common food allergens include:
You can develop a food allergy at any age; however, they most often occur during childhood. Though there’s no cure, some children outgrow their food allergy.
Food allergy symptoms vary in type and severity. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Food allergies may also lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis symptoms may include shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, rapid pulse, or low blood pressure and shock.
The specialists at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group are experts in the diagnosis of food allergies. They offer a number of tests to diagnose food allergies, including:
During the painless allergy skin test, your allergist places a tiny amount of each food allergen under your skin and monitors for a reaction, which occurs within 15 minutes.
Your provider may also diagnose a food allergy by measuring the antibodies in your blood.
South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group considers the food challenge test the best test for diagnosing food allergies. During the in-office test, you’re given increasing amounts of the suspected food allergen and closely monitored for a reaction.
Currently, the primary treatment for food allergies is complete avoidance of the food allergen. Your provider works closely with you to help you identify safe and unsafe foods, including precautions you need to take when dining out.
They also recommend treating food allergy reactions with injectable epinephrine. For mild food allergies, Benadryl may ease symptoms.
For certain food allergies, your provider may suggest desensitization, which is an in-office treatment that involves ongoing exposure to the allergen. They also keep close tabs on current research, including the ongoing food allergy research being conducted at the Stanford School of Medicine.
To schedule an appointment with the experts in food allergies, contact South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group by phone or book online today.