An immune system response to food resulting in an allergic reaction that can involve the skin, gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Most commonly caused by milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Any type of food can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
Reactions can range from very mild hives to a life-threatening reaction (Anaphylaxis) involving the respiratory or cardiovascular system.
Identifying and avoiding the foods that cause reactions is of paramount importance.
Identification is by history with confirmatory skin testing or blood testing with interpretation by an allergist.
Clinical trials for oral food desensitization are underway
Some patients may require oral food challenges to confirm the safety of food reintroduction.
Allergists help identify the offending food or foods, educate about avoidance, train the patient on when and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector and educate family and schools about the patient’s specific food allergies.