Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is an abnormal response of the body's immune system to certain foods. While some allergic reactions are mild, many can be serious or life-threatening medical situations if untreated.
Food allergies are common – approximately 1 in 13 children live with food allergies every day. Fortunately, with appropriate medical care, people suffering from food allergies can live healthy, active, normal lives.
What is Food Intolerance?
A food intolerance is typically less severe than a food allergy. Food intolerance can present symptoms similar to food allergies. However, the effects of food intolerance may be felt more gradually or only after eating a specific food frequently or in large quantities. Lactose intolerance is a common type of food intolerance.
What Causes a Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?
Roughly 90% of all food allergies are caused by cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and peanuts.
In order for an allergic symptom to occur, a person must be exposed to the food at least once. At that time, the immune system releases antibodies which react to the food and trigger the allergic response.
What are Common Allergic Symptoms?
People experiencing allergic symptoms may experience:
Itching in the mouth
Nausea and vomiting
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. In addition to the symptoms listed above, symptoms can include:
Flushing of the skin
Itching of palms, soles of feet
Low blood pressure
Loss of consciousness
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Severe reactions are commonly treated with epinephrine (aka “Epi-pens”).
Do Food Allergies Go Away?
Typically, food allergies do not go away. However, with proper medical care, they can be managed and people with food allergies can live healthy, active, normal lives.