According to the FDA, food allergies affect millions of Americans every year. Some of the symptoms are minor and mild ones, but some are severe and can even be life-threatening. There is no cure, only strict avoidance of the allergen is effective.
The Mayo Clinic staff maintains that even a tiny amount of an allergy-causing food can cause a reaction and trigger symptoms such as digestive problems, rash, hives, or swollen airways. In some, food allergies can trigger a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis. The American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (ACAAI) stresses that if you experience any of the following symptoms of anaphylaxis, you seek emergency treatment without delay:
- trouble breathing
- hives or swelling
- a tight feeling in the throat
- nausea or vomiting
- abdominal pain
- dizziness or fainting
- low blood pressure
- rapid heart beat
If not treated immediately, anaphylaxis can be fatal. And don’t think that because your initial brush with anaphylaxis was mild, that you aren’t at risk for more serious future episodes. Carry an epinephrine pen with you at all times if you are at risk. It could save your life until you can get to the hospital!
An estimated 6 to 8% children under the age of 3 have food allergies and as many as 3% of adults. Some children outgrow their allergy as they grow older.
If you’re in the Allen, Texas area, and suspect you or your child may have a food allergy, contact us for an appointment. We specialize in allergies, asthma, sinusitis, eczema, hives and food allergies.