Food allergies cause daily stress for children and parents, as they must constantly watch what they eat and avoid certain foods to prevent a severe allergic reaction. At Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC, Lakshmi Reddy, MD, offers compassionate support for everyone affected by a food allergy. Dr. Reddy identifies the allergen, makes sure you’re prepared to stop serious reactions, and helps you learn to live to the fullest with a food allergy. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Duluth, Georgia, or book online today.
Food allergies develop when your immune system overreacts to food proteins. The immune system mistakenly labels the protein as a dangerous substance and releases chemicals to attack the protein every time it enters your body. These chemicals cause an allergic reaction.
The foods that most often cause allergies include:
Many food allergies start in children. However, they can appear for the first time at any age. Children typically outgrow some food allergies, but they’re less likely to overcome peanut, tree nut, and shellfish allergies.
If you have food allergies, you experience symptoms such as:
Your symptoms usually appear in a few minutes but may not occur for up to two hours after consuming your allergen. The severity of your symptoms may unexpectedly change from mild to severe.
Food allergies are especially dangerous because they can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
During an anaphylactic reaction, you have severe symptoms that develop quickly:
Without immediate treatment, the reaction can cause an irregular heartbeat, shock, and death. At the first sign of anaphylaxis, you need to use self-injecting epinephrine and call 911 for emergency medical care.
Treating a food allergy primarily means eliminating all sources of the protein from your diet. Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC, does in-office allergy testing to confirm the protein causing your allergic reaction, then they help you plan a safe diet.
While most sources of food allergens are obvious and easy to avoid, some food proteins are used in hidden or unexpected ways. Your provider can help you identify all of the possible sources. However, it’s essential to get in the habit of reading allergen warnings on food labels.
Your provider also prescribes a self-injecting epinephrine pen. They show you how to use it and teach you when it’s time to use it to stop an anaphylactic reaction.
Some children may qualify for oral immunotherapy. This treatment involves taking tiny doses of the protein to help desensitize their immune system and reduce the severity of their allergic reaction.
At the first sign of a food allergy, don’t wait to seek allergy testing. Call Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC, or book an appointment online today.