Food Allergies

A Family Affair

It is well known that allergies are genetically transmitted from parent to child. If one parent has respiratory allergies there is a 50% probability that any child will have allergies. The percentage increases to 70% if both parents are allergic.

Definition: Food allergy is an adverse food reaction due to an immunologic mechanism (differentiated from food intolerance). Approximately 3% of children have food allergy.

Most common food reaction is immediate anaphylaxis, frequently within minutes of ingestion. The most common foods in children and adolescents causing anaphylaxis are: peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. This type of reaction is life threatening and requires immediate emergency medical attention.

Eight foods are responsible for 93% of food allergic reactions: egg, peanut, milk, soy, tree nut, fish, shellfish and wheat.

Other reactions in food allergic patients may induce hives or swelling or exacerbation of atopic dermatitis (in children). Other food allergies symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

More recently a new food allergy identified is that to red meat following a tick bite.

Avoidance is the only treatment available for food allergies at this time. All patients with anaphylactic type reactions should carry injectable epinephrine and wear a medic alert bracelet.

Our food allergies patients visit us from Hixson, Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, Dayton, Signal Mountain, Redbank and nearby areas.

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