Disclaimer: We are not doctors. Do not rely on information from us or any other online source to diagnose or treat yourself with health conditions. Please seek the advice of your doctor.
Do you suspect that you have a food allergy? If you do, you are not alone. Researchers estimate that 15 million Americans have food allergies.
Recently I went to an allergist for allergy testing and learned that I am allergic to several different foods and spices, 16 to be exact. I had begun to suspect that I might possibly have an allergy to certain foods but I sure didn’t expect to learn that I was allergic to 16 foods!
What I’m Allergic To:
What symptoms did I have?
Coughing after eating certain foods
Trouble breathing, feeling like I was unable to catch my breath
Digestive issues–which at the time I didn’t connect to the possibility of a food allergy
One night I had a sandwich from Subway and afterwards I began to notice that I was having trouble breathing. I had begun to make the connection that possibly I was allergic to something in the bread (I was thinking a gluten allergy).
For several years I had been avoiding pork products on pizza (sausage, ham, etc.) because after eating the pizza I would get a horrible headache and would start hurting in my neck, back, and shoulders. I assumed it was an allergy to the pork or the preservatives that are used but now, after having the allergy test I realize that it probably was not the pork products but rather the crust and cheese.
I had also experienced digestive issues for years whenever I drank cow’s milk. Way back when I was in middle school I made the connection that when I drank milk at lunch my stomach would hurt, so for years I have avoided drinking milk, but I still ate foods made from milk. I loved ice cream but I was always miserable whenever I ate it. I assumed I had a lactose intolerance, not an actual allergy!
Since being diagnosed with these food allergies, I have done a lot of research. I have realized that many of the aches and pains and symptoms that I had could have been due to the foods that I was consuming.
Although there is a wide variety of foods and spices that one can be allergic to there are 8 foods that are the most common. These account for 90% of reactions.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, including Anaphylaxis.
Redness of the skin or around the eyes
Itchy ear canal
Slight, dry cough
Swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat
Shortness of breath
If you suspect that you or your child may have a food allergy, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor or allergist. Allergy testing is a very simple process. When I first was tested over 20 years ago, the process took almost 3 hours of me laying very still on my stomach (not easy for a child to do). The testing process today is very simple. The whole process, including consulting with the doctor only took about an hour. Don’t let the fear of the procedure keep you from getting tested.
Every 3 minutes a reaction to a food allergy send someone to the Emergency Room, don’t let that be you!