Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC
Rheumatology & Allergy & Immunology located in Manchester, CT
It’s estimated that as many as 32 million people in the United States have a food allergy. If you have a food allergy, or suspect you may have a food allergy, the experienced team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC in Manchester and Middletown, Connecticut, can diagnose and manage your food allergy to minimize reactions and improve your quality of life. Call the nearest office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.
Food Allergies Q & A
What are food allergies?
Food allergies refer to an overreaction of your immune system to food soon after you eat it, causing symptoms such as hives or a swollen or itchy throat. You can develop an allergy to almost any food, but the most common food allergens include:
- Seafood and shellfish
- Peanuts and tree nuts
Food allergies often develop during childhood, but they can also manifest in adults.
What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Food allergy symptoms vary in both type and severity. In some people, the allergic reaction may only be a nuisance, while in others the reaction can be life-threatening.
Common food allergy symptoms include:
- Hives or itchy skin
- Itchy throat or tongue
- Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- Wheezing, nasal congestion
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
A severe food allergy may lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and low blood pressure.
Food allergies may also lead to eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an allergic inflammatory reaction that occurs in the esophagus and can cause severe pain and impact your ability to eat.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
Your allergist at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC conducts a comprehensive examination when you come in with concerns about food allergies. During your examination, your allergist reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, and performs a physical exam.
To determine the food causing the problems, your allergist may perform a test. Some of the tests used to diagnose food allergies include:
- Skin prick test
- Blood test
- Elimination diet
- Oral food challenge
If they suspect you may have EoE, your allergist may need to do a biopsy of your esophageal tissue.
What is the treatment for food allergies?
Your allergist at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC develops a personalized treatment plan based on the severity of your food allergy. To reduce your risk of symptoms, your specialist advises that you avoid the food allergen altogether.
Your specialist may also provide medication to help you manage symptoms if you inadvertently come in contact with your allergen. The type of medication may depend on the severity of your reaction. For a mild reaction, you may only need an antihistamine, but for a severe reaction, you may need to carry around an epinephrine auto-injector.
For expert management of your food allergy, call Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC or schedule an appointment online today.
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