Symptoms and Testing for a Food Allergy

Symptoms and Testing for a Food Allergy| HealthSoul

Many people nowadays have food allergies not only to processed foods but also to natural foods. That causes a large portion of the population to require emergency services for medical care. Food allergies, therefore, can lower the quality of life for those living with them.

Anything that affects your health should always be given serious attention. A food allergy should always be treated in a serious matter. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, which was recently done, shows that a more considerable percentage of the population avoids certain foods because a member of their family or household has developed an allergy to them. This has a significant impact on the quality of life you live with your family. It can also lead to physical and mental health problems.

Food allergy symptoms vary from mild to severe reactions. However, whether severe or mild, the state you are in should always be treated as a serious matter because it can also lead to death if not properly treated.  Once you have consumed any food and realize you may have an unusual reaction in your body, the first step is to look for medical attention. That is the best way to take control of the allergy to avoid it reaching severe levels.

Look for a professional diagnosis to be sure whether it is a food allergy or not; otherwise, you may end up having more health problems down the road. After doing so, you can then look for the safest and most effective treatment plan.

What is a Food Allergy Reaction?   

Food allergy reaction is a physiological response that starts when you ingest a specific food. It differs from food sensitivity in that food sensitivity in most cases involves only the digestive system. Still, food allergy reactions can apply to various areas of the body– usually beginning with the immune system.

How Does a Food Allergic Reaction Occur?

As already mentioned above, a food allergic reaction begins from the immune system. Once you have ingested food that you are allergic to, the immune system in your body will recognize it as a harmful substance.

The immune system can react to certain foods by trying to fight the allergen as a response. An allergic reaction then occurs, which leads to the release of certain chemicals such as histamines in the body. It is these chemicals that lead to various food allergy symptoms, which range from mild to severe.

Mild to Severe Food Allergy Symptoms

Food allergy symptoms can occur in a specific body part and can spread from the mouth, hands, feet, and the whole body. That is why you should seek immediate medical attention once you detect any strange reaction within your system. That is because it may be severe if left untreated, resulting in fatal consequences.

An allergic reaction can occur in just minutes to a few hours after consuming certain foods.

Some of the most common symptoms of allergic reactions from food include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Mild itching
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Hoarse throat and trouble swallowing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Pale coloring of the skin

Anaphylaxis– This is a severe reaction to a food allergy that can be life-threatening. It occurs when the immune system in the body sends a rush of chemicals to fight off the harmful intruder. This may force the body to go into shock and impair breathing. The reaction may spread and affect different body parts


People can be allergic to many different types of food. Once the allergy is detected, most doctors recommend that the most effective treatment is avoiding that specific food. The foods that cause allergies may also vary in children and adults.

The foods most associated with allergy in children are:

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs

Allergies in children caused by milk and eggs may end as the child continues to grow, while that of peanut may persist even as the child becomes an adult.

The most common food allergies in adults are:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Fruit and vegetable pollen

When you have an allergy to a specific food, you are also likely to develop an allergy to other related foods.

How to Get Tested for the Allergy

Food allergy symptoms vary from one person to the other, and the symptoms may also vary for every reaction. All patients with food allergy reactions should always be counseled about the risk of anaphylaxis. That is because you may not be aware of how severe the subsequent response will be.

To diagnose your food allergy, the allergist must have precise details of your medical history and the symptoms you have experienced. Therefore, when you are going for a diagnosis, you must be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • What type of food do you eat
  • How much of the food you ate
  • How long does it take for symptoms to develop
  • The symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted.

After gathering the answers to the questions above,  the allergist will order a skin or blood test to know whether food-specific antibodies are in your body or not.

Management and Treatment for the Allergy

The safest and most effective way to manage a food allergy reaction is by avoiding the food substance that causes the problem. Before buying any food, especially from wholesalers and supermarkets, you should carefully check the labels and ingredients. The substance that causes the allergy may have different names depending on the food it is used in.  Therefore, it is beneficial to understand what ingredients are in what foods and how they might be referred to in different products.

The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection require the manufacturers of packaged foods to identify the most common allergens in foods in straightforward language. That protects the consumers from making the mistake of consuming them unknowingly. Some may also be labeled with precautionary statements to give warnings to consumers.


Food allergy reactions are common to many people, and that has affected their living and eating styles. You should take the necessary precautionary measures to avoid severe conditions.