Weekly Wellness Food Allergies

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COLUMBIA - Food allergies. Most of us hear about this person being allergic to peanuts and that person is allergic to dairy. And, in most cases, these allergies have been plaguing these folks since they were kids. But did you know that you can develop allergies as adults? 

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, food allergy symptoms “can appear at any age” and impact up to 4 percent of adults. Further, you can develop an allergy to foods you’ve eaten for years with no problem. Scary!

We do need to differentiate between a food intolerance (which typically only cause discomfort) and a food allergy (which can lead to severe reactions).

Folks experiencing a food intolerance may have bloating or gas after eating a particular food.

Folks experiencing a food allergy can present with:

  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Throat-tightening
  • Rash
  • Anaphylactic shock

According to the Food and Drug Administration, approximately 30,000 Americans go to the ER each year to be treated for severe food allergies, and up to 200 Americans die each year due to allergic reactions to food.

If you think you are experiencing a food allergy, seek medical treatment. And it's important to write down everything you've eaten. This can help the treating physician. Then after treatment, make an appointment with an allergist.