When to see a doctor for food allergy
A number of new and effective medications are available to treat both asthma and allergies. In serious cases, the reaction results in swelling of the throat or even anaphylaxis. Other symptoms include hay fever, asthma, nettle rash, and stomach upset.
Try to keep the person as calm as possible. If he or she has been diagnosed with a severe allergy, emergency medicine should be on hand.
Some doctors will often warn people not to give epinephrine until the last resort, but people with a severe allergic reaction need to take it sooner rather than later.
While waiting for medical assistance to arrive, follow these potentially life-saving tips: Avoid giving any oral allergy medicine and any liquids if the person is having trouble breathing. If the allergic reaction is from a bee sting, scrape the stinger off with a credit card or fingernail.
You'll have to take each different situation on a case-by-case basis, but here are some general guidelines to help you determine which symptoms are likely to be associated with food allergies or severe food intolerances and whether you need to call the doctor or can treat the problem at home. Anaphylaxisor anaphylactic shock, is a life-threatening reaction that's sometimes triggered by food allergens.
Severe asthma attacks also require immediate attention from a medical professional if they do not respond to rescue medication. These symptoms often indicate a food allergy that has the potential to develop into an anaphylactic allergy if your body encounters the offending food again. Your doctor is likely to recommend further testing as soon as possible and may want to prescribe emergency medication in case of another, more severe reaction.
Food Allergies - When To Call a Doctor
Infant feeding difficulties need to be resolved quickly for the proper growth and comfort of the baby. Severe digestive symptoms can indicate food allergies or several other acute conditions like food poisoningbut if these symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from replacing fluids, you may need treatment for dehydration in addition to an evaluation for food allergies or intolerances.
Anaphylaxis and Severe Allergy Guide
The symptoms of food allergies range from mild discomfort to severe, life-threatening reactions anaphylaxiswhich require immediate medical treatment. Other symptoms include hay fever, asthma, nettle rash, and stomach upset. The symptoms arise every time the allergic person eats the offending food. However, if they are allergic to a food that is cross-reacting with pollen they may only experience symptoms in the pollen season.
Different kinds of food poisoning can provoke symptoms that are similar to the symptoms experienced in food allergy. Often the reaction is stronger the more poisoned food that the person has eaten.
In order to distinguish between a food allergy and poisoning the person with symptoms needs to see the doctor.
Allergic reactions to foods may occur within a few minutes after eating the offending food, but rarely symptoms may also develop after hours, making the relationship with ingestion of food less clear.
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Symptoms generally disappear within hours but can last for days. The specific symptoms and severity of an allergic reaction are affected by the type and amount of the allergen consumed, by the form in which the food containing the allergen was eaten, by the intake of alcohol, aspirin and other drugs such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, by exercise or stress, and by the sensitivity of the allergic person. For this test, a blood sample taken in your doctor's office is sent to a medical laboratory, where different foods can be tested.
You may be asked to eliminate suspect foods for a week or two and then add the food items back into your diet one at a time. This process can help link symptoms to specific foods. However, elimination diets aren't foolproof.
An elimination diet can't tell you whether your reaction to a food is a true allergy instead of a food sensitivity. Also, if you've had a severe reaction to a food in the past, an elimination diet may not be safe. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
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By Mayo Clinic Staff Print. Give your doctor a detailed history of your symptoms — which foods, and how much, seem to cause problems.