Food Allergy News

Food allergies are rare forms of allergies, affecting a small percentage of adults and a larger percentage of children. The symptoms can often be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Like all allergies, the reaction during a food allergy attack is caused by your body’s immune system. Usually, your body releases antibodies in order to destroy a threat presented by a bacteria or virus that can make you sick. But in the case of a food allergy, your body’s immune system mistakes a food protein for a harmful intruder and releases a flood of antibodies that ultimately trigger the allergic reaction.

Which Foods Cause Allergies?

Almost any food can cause an allergy, but shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are among the worst culprits. Milk, eggs, wheat, soy and other types of fish are also sometimes allergy offenders.

Often, a family of foods might cause problems for someone with food allergies. For example, a person who’s allergic to crab may need to exercise caution around shrimp or lobster as well. The same goes with walnuts and pecans, or peanuts and soybeans.

Warning Signs and Treatment

Symptoms of a food allergy reaction can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms can include hives, itchiness, sneezing, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. In the case of a severe food allergy, the tongue, lips and throat can swell and prevent breathing. This might be a sign of anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening and requires emergency medical treatment. Other severe symptoms can include trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness and chest pain.

If you or a loved one has a food allergy, it’s important to be under the care of a doctor and have an “allergy action plan.” This usually will include avoidance of the food, and you may also need to keep preventive medications on hand, such as Epinephrine (an EpiPen), an inhaler and other allergy medications.

SOURCES: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; Food Allergy Research and Education

Date Posted
Article Title
Plan an Allergy-Safe Halloween for Your Child

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Oral food challenges are safe and rarely result in a serious reaction, researchers say

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Look for skin or tummy reactions in dogs, cats and horses, allergists say

Does Your Child Really Have a Food Allergy?

Food sensitivity and intolerance may be mistaken for allergic reaction, even by doctors

Too Few Children Get EpiPen When Needed: Study

First-line treatment for severe allergic reaction is often neglected

Lifesaving Drugs From Pfizer in Short Supply: FDA

Agency seeking alternatives, extending 'shelf life' for meds like epinephrine

Nearly 4 Percent of Americans Suffer From Food Allergies

Study finds most common allergy is to shellfish, but peanuts also pose big threat

Expired EpiPens May Still Help Save a Life: Study

But allergy experts advise not counting on older devices if you can replace them

Allergic to Peanuts? Tree Nuts Might Still Be Safe

Careful testing can determine whether you need to avoid cashews, walnuts or others, study finds

Obesity May Raise Girls' Risk of Asthma, Allergies

But same was not true for boys, study found

Secondhand Smoke Linked to Food Allergies in Kids

Passive exposure tied to more egg and peanut sensitivity in study

Needed: An 'Action Plan' for Kids Prone to Severe Allergic Reactions

First line of defense is an epinephrine auto-injector, pediatricians say

Preventing Peanut Allergies

New guidelines issued to help prevent peanut allergies in children.

New Guidelines Urge Early Intro to Peanut in High-Risk Infants

Change in allergy recommendations based on results of groundbreaking trial

Food Allergies Among Kids Vary by Race: Study

Researchers find blacks and Hispanics more likely to be allergic to corn and shellfish, for instance

Colleges Not Fully Prepared for Students With Food Allergies: Study

Lack of support programs to help them stay safe is a significant issue, allergists say

How to Introduce Your Baby to Food Containing Peanuts

New guidelines coming soon from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Food Labels on Potential Allergens May Confuse Shoppers

Misunderstanding warnings could be dangerous for those with food allergies, researcher says

Skin Patch May Help With Peanut Allergy

Delivering small amounts of peanut protein boosted tolerance for about half of young patients in study

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project on Halloween

Painted pumpkins let trick-or-treaters with food allergies know safe treats are available

Tips for Keeping Halloween Safe and Fun

Bobbing for apples, trick-or-treating can expose kids to potential hazards, health experts say

Parents of Kids With Food Allergies Believe They're Allergic, Too

But fewer than one-third tested positive for food allergies, study finds

6 Keys to a Safe, Allergy-Free Halloween

These tips can ease parents' worries and help kids with food allergies or asthma enjoy the holiday

Early Introduction of Eggs, Peanuts May Cut Kids' Allergy Risk: Study

Allergy specialist suggests existing guidelines on introducing foods may be outdated

Food Allergies Linked to Raised Risk of Asthma, Hay Fever

Odds rise even higher when kids have more than one food allergy, researchers say

Mylan to Offer Generic EpiPen

Manufacturer responds to mounting criticism about price hikes

Peanut Allergy Treatment: The Earlier in Childhood, the Better

Exposure therapy for infants and toddlers leaves 4 out of 5 'desensitized,' study finds

Preventing Childhood Food Allergies

Early exposure to foods that commonly cause allergic reactions

Giving Certain Foods Early May Cut Allergy Risk

Study supports turnaround in thinking about peanuts, eggs and milk

Managing Allergies, Asthma 101

Doctor offers advice to students who will be heading off to college

Kids From Poorer Families May Have Worse Food Allergy Care

Parents often have fewer dollars for medication, preventive measures, study finds

Cow's Milk Allergy in Childhood May Lead to Weaker Bones: Study

But one expert contends that difference in bone density wasn't enough, on average, to worry about fractures

Spring Allergies? Don't Assume It's Only Pollen

Identifying your triggers is the first step toward relief, experts say

Health Tip: Managing Food Allergy

Should the problem food be banned?

Health Tip: Managing a Food Allergy at Work

Suggestions to avoid getting sick

Poverty Linked to Asthma, Allergy Treatment Failure

Patients from low-income households more likely to have worse outcomes, studies show

Supervised Exposure Therapy for Peanut Allergy Lasts, Study Finds

Even after a year-long break, kids maintained their tolerance

Allergy Shots Still Effective for Seniors

Researchers say aging immune system doesn't significantly reduce injections' usefulness