Food allergies affect 32 million Americans all at risk of life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. This challenge adds incredible stress to the daily lives of parents and children. Our skilled team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, specializes in helping you manage food allergies, allowing you to protect your family’s health and ease stress. Call the nearest office today to ask questions or schedule an appointment. You can also connect online using the booking feature.
Food allergies begin when your immune system decides a food protein is dangerous (even though it’s not). Then it produces antibodies that try to fight off the protein every time it enters your body. Your immune system also releases chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction.
Most food allergies are caused by:
Though food allergies frequently begin in childhood, they can appear at any age.
Food allergies cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
Symptoms often appear within a few minutes to two hours after eating the protein causing your allergy. The severity of your symptoms can also change unexpectedly. You might have a mild reaction followed by a severe one.
Food allergies are one of the top causes of anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. During anaphylaxis, your symptoms can occur in every part of your body.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, anaphylaxis causes:
Without immediate treatment, your symptoms can progress rapidly, causing an irregular heartbeat, shock, and death.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Use your auto-injecting epinephrine pen and call 911 immediately.
Identifying and eliminating the triggering protein from your diet is the essential first step in treating food allergies. Your Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates provider will likely also prescribe a self-injecting epinephrine pen. It’s essential to have the pen with you or your child at all times so that you can use it at the first sign of anaphylaxis.
Your provider helps you create an emergency treatment plan for the staff at your child’s school.
In some cases, oral immunotherapy (OIT) can be considered. This is a procedure whereby increasing amounts of the offending food are ingested under medical supervision to help the immune system tolerate small amounts of the food.
If you suspect a food allergy, schedule an appointment right away. Call Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates today or book an appointment online.