Food allergies can cause reactions ranging from mildly annoying to severe and life-threatening. Dr. Johnson helps patients in the Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, area identify foods and ingredients causing allergic reactions in addition to treating food allergy symptoms.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy occurs when your bottom is hypersensitive to a specific food, resulting in an immune system reaction.
How can I tell if I might have a food allergy?
Food allergies typically cause recognizable symptoms in the digestive tract and elsewhere in the body, including:
vomiting, upset stomach or diarrhea
stomach or lower belly cramping
itching around the lips or in the mouth or throat
coughing and sneezing
Some food allergies, such as nut and shellfish allergies, can cause severe reactions that require immediate medical attention.
How will Dr. Johnson diagnose my allergy?
Some of the more common food allergy symptoms like nausea and diarrhea can also occur with other conditions, like mild flu and irritable bowel syndrome. Even hives can be caused by contact dermatitis, another allergic reaction. To determine if your symptoms are the result of a food allergy, Dr. Johnson will take a thorough health history, including discussing your symptoms, when you first noticed them and what food you ate prior to the symptoms occurring. Be sure to mention if people in your family have food allergies and if over-the-counter medications (if you took any) relieved your symptoms. If Dr. Johnson suspects you have a food allergy but the source can't be identified, she may ask you to follow an elimination diet, removing certain foods from your diet one at a time to determine if that has any effect on your symptoms. Skin tests and blood tests are also available to help narrow down an allergy.
What treatments are available for food allergies?
The first step in avoiding a food allergy is to avoid the food or ingredient that's causing the allergic reaction. Antihistamines may also help relieve symptoms like itching or a runny nose, and in severe reactions, epinephrine may be prescribed for emergency intervention as required.