Food Allergies

A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in that food. Even a tiny fraction of food can cause allergic symptoms to flare. Some food allergies that occur in children can be outgrown with time, however, many adults develop allergies later in life.

An allergist and immunologist, often just referred to as an allergist, has specialized training and expertise to determine whether you may have a food allergy and if so, how best to manage it. Call us today at (703) 893-1114 to schedule an appointment with one of our allergy providers to discuss diagnosis and treatment options to help you get back to being you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Common allergic symptoms include itching, urticaria (hives), swelling, diarrhea, and a potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, that causes the body to go into shock.

Food allergies appear in both children and adults. While many children outgrow a food allergy, it is possible for adults to develop allergies to particular foods. For example, about 20% of children with peanut allergy will see their allergy resolved with time. Children are also likely to outgrow cow milk, egg, soybean, and wheat allergies with age.

The majority of allergic reactions are attributed to cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.

Most symptoms of food allergy occur within two hours of coming into the contact with the allergy-triggering food.

Exercising, having a related viral illness, ingesting alcohol, or taking medications such as antacids, aspirin, and NSAIDs may increase the severity of an acute allergic reaction to food.

Yes, there is. Food allergies involve the immune system, while food intolerance involves the digestive tract. Food intolerance can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but there is no risk of anaphylaxis. In some cases, food allergies are mistaken for food intolerance, which is why it is important to have symptoms evaluated by an allergist. At Skin and Laser Dermatology Center, we can help you identify food allergies and treatment methods best suited to your condition.

Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical treatment. Any food can cause food-induced anaphylaxis, but peanuts, tree nuts, fish, seeds, shellfish, milk, and eggs are the most common trigger foods in the United States. Peanuts and tree nuts alone account for over 90% of all food-induced anaphylaxis in the United States.

Yes, after being bitten by a Lone Star tick, it is possible to develop an allergic reaction to mammalian meat. This allergic reaction occurs 4-8 hours after coming into contact with meat. People with this allergy should avoid beef, lamb, pork, and venison.

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