Food allergies affect about three percent of the adult population and twice that percentage of children. Often, if we eat something and later feel ill, we chalk it up to allergies when that might not be the case. Golla ENT performs complete allergy testing for food allergies and environmental allergies. That’s important because the first step to controlling your allergies is identifying your allergic triggers.
Common food allergies
Food allergies are caused when the body’s immune system incorrectly identifies the food as an outside invader. Any food can cause an allergic reaction. However, in the United States, 90% of all food allergies are caused by these eight foods:
- Tree nuts
In addition, oral allergy syndrome may cause a tingling sensation in your mouth when you eat certain fruits (such as apples). This isn’t the result of an allergy to apples, but is caused by an allergy to pollen with a protein structure similar to the apple. For example, people allergic to elm pollen frequently experience oral allergy syndrome when eating apples.
Food allergy versus food intolerance
Just because your body doesn’t tolerate a particular food well doesn’t mean you are allergic to that item. Food allergy prompts the immune system to create a specific human immunoglobulin (IgE) upon exposure to the food. In the case of food intolerance, the immune system is not involved and IgE is not produced.
Allergic responses may involve the skin, ears, nose, throat or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Food intolerance generally affects the GI tract.
Golla ENT utilizes endpoint titration testing to identify food allergies.
Food allergy symptoms
The symptoms of food allergies are different depending on the mast cells involved in the allergic reaction. If the mast cells in the skin are affected, you may experience hives. If the mast cells affect the nose or throat, you may have trouble breathing or swallowing or experience itching in your mouth. If the mast cells affect the GI tract, you have abdominal pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
If you suspect you are allergic to a food, discontinue it from your diet and contact Golla ENT to schedule an appointment for food allergy testing.