We know this is a difficult time and We want you to know we care for our patient's health and wellbeing.

A Closer Look at What's Causing Your Food Allergy

A Closer Look at What's Causing Your Food Allergy

A food allergy results when your body’s immune system misidentifies the protein found in a food as a threat to your health. Did you know that more than 32 million Americans have food allergies? And the numbers keep rising.

At Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, our providers specialize in diagnosing and treating allergies of all kinds. Our allergy experts are committed to helping patients in the Manchester, Connecticut, area manage their food allergies and reclaim their quality of life. 

Food allergy symptoms vary — ranging from mild, like a rash, to life-threatening anaphylaxis — and chances are good that if you have or suspect you may have a food allergy, you want to know what’s causing your body to react the way it does. Here’s a closer look at how food allergies work and what you can do about them.  

Food allergies 101

You’re diagnosed with a food allergy when your body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a food as a threat. Symptoms of a food allergy can be mild or severe. Your reaction may start within minutes of eating, or it may take up to an hour or more to appear. 

While everyone experiences food allergies differently, common symptoms include:

People with a severe allergy may experience anaphylaxis, which occurs when your body releases chemicals that cause your body to go into shock, blocking your breathing.

Food allergies vs. food intolerance

Before getting to the root cause of your food allergies, it’s important to differentiate between a food allergy and a food intolerance. While some of the symptoms may be the same, a food intolerance does not involve your immune system, and symptoms are generally, but not always, less severe.

And while food allergies are always a response to the protein in a food, food intolerances may include reactions to different parts of a food, like carbohydrates, enzymes, proteins, or other chemicals. They can even result due to issues with your digestive system.

Because it can be challenging to tell the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance, it’s important to seek a diagnosis from an allergy expert, such as the providers at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut.  

To determine the cause of your symptoms, we conduct an exam and review your family history, personal medical history, and symptoms. Depending on the nature of your symptoms, your provider may order additional testing, including:

Once our team has reached a diagnosis, we create a customized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.  

Causes of food allergies and intolerances

Food allergies stem from a reaction in your immune system. When your body identifies a food protein as dangerous to your health, your system releases chemicals, called antibodies, as a defense. Sometimes an allergy results when your body fails to release antibodies. 

The most common food allergy triggers involve eight foods:

Here are some of the most common reasons you may experience a food intolerance:

For most patients, avoiding the food that triggers your allergic reaction is the first step. Your provider may also recommend different medications, like an antihistamine or epinephrine, to help manage your symptoms in case you come in contact with the food by accident. 

Help for food allergies

Are you ready to learn more about what’s causing your food allergies so you can get relief? Contact Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut by calling 860-288-1160, or request an appointment online now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Encouraging Facts About Sjogren’s Syndrome

Chronic dry eye can turn out to be something else. Sjogren’s syndrome often overlaps with other conditions, which can make it difficult to diagnose. A rheumatology specialist is the best person to help you get answers. Get the facts here.

Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis

Living well with psoriatic arthritis requires the help of a specialist and understanding the implications of your condition. With the right help, you can control your symptoms so you feel and function as best as possible.

Allergy Desensitization With Allergy Shots

Allergy immunotherapy is one of several treatments for allergies. Because allergy shots provide long-term relief from allergy symptoms, it’s worthwhile to speak to an allergy specialist to find out if this treatment is right for you.

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Scleroderma

Scleroderma can have a significant impact on many aspects of life, so having an expert team to help you manage issues from this autoimmune disease is crucial. A good program aims to reduce complications and provide symptom relief.

What Causes Food Allergies?

Food allergies affect adults and children of all ages. While there’s no cure for food allergies, you can manage food allergies by staying vigilant in avoiding the offending food.

Understanding Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease is a major health issue with far-reaching effects. Forming a strong doctor-patient relationship with a rheumatology specialist leads to the best outcomes so you can live a full, active life.