The Most Common Food Allergens and How to Avoid Them

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Food allergies are very common and they impact more than 50 million people in the United States. But they can be prevented and avoided.

While food allergies are more prevalent among children, they can affect anyone and will sometimes develop in adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 4 percent of all people in America have some type of food allergy. Reactions range from mild to life-threatening, but they can be prevented. Here is what you need to know.

The Big Eight

It is possible to be allergic to any food, but around 90 percent of all food allergy issues have one of these eight foods to blame: cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat. Of the other 10 percent of foods that are most likely to cause an allergic reaction, seeds are most often to blame. Be it sesame seeds or mustard seeds, they can often cause issues. Other common culprits include corn, gelatin, meat and certain spices, like garlic.

Allergy Treatment Plan

One you notice physical symptoms after eating certain foods, it is time to contact your doctor. He or she will conduct a series of tests to determine those foods to which you have an allergic reaction. Blood tests and skin tests are common, but an accurate account of what you ate before you had a reaction and details as to your symptoms are just as important for an accurate diagnosis.

Could the Future of Food Allergy Treatment Be Immunotherapy?

In general, the best way to treat a food allergy is to avoid the food altogether and carry an EpiPen for cases of an allergic reaction. However, the future of food allergy treatment might be immunotherapy, although right now it is just in trial phases at major medical centers in the United States and has not been approved by the FDA.

These clinical trials include oral immunotherapy, in which the food allergen is administered slowly in small but steadily-increasing doses. The goal of these studies is to support advanced clinical trials that will lead to the development of FDA-approved oral immunotherapy products for major food allergens.

Another type of immunotherapy for food allergies that is being studied is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in which a food allergen is dissolved in a solution that is placed under the tongue. Growing research suggests that this is able to desensitize patients to a degree that is likely to prevent allergic reactions after accidental ingestion. Arkansas Allergy & Asthma is always keeping up with the latest food allergy news, so our followers will be the first to know if these food allergy treatments are cleared by the FDA and approved for use.

Food allergies can be a serious issue, so make sure that you get the medical attention your allergy deserves. If you would like more information about allergy shots in Little Rock and Conway, Arkansas, contact Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic at (501) 227-521. We can help you explore your options and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.