Understanding Food Allergies
By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
December 30, 2020
Category: Allergist
Tags: Food Allergies  

Just as people can be allergic to pollen, soaps, pet dander, or other substances, we can also have allergies to foods, ranging from minor to severe.

While some food allergies may be easily diagnosed, such as those to peanuts or shellfish, which can result in visible facial swelling and potentially dangerous swelling of the throat, others are harder to pinpoint, causing symptoms such as bloating, abdominal distress, or eczema.

Dr. Alan E. Sheen, with offices in Metairie and Covington, LA can help you determine the source of your food allergies and develop a diet that suits your needs.

What are the types of food allergies?

Food allergies can be either fixed or cyclic, with the former both more obvious and more dangerous. Common fixed food allergies include nuts and fish, and they can cause severe reactions such as difficulty breathing or intense swelling.

Cyclic food allergies are less rare but can be hard to diagnose unless your diet is very limited, to begin with. Dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs are common food allergens. Allergic reactions may intensify if you consume larger or more frequent amounts of the trigger food, and some cyclic food allergies can be outgrown.

How do you diagnose food allergies?

Your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office can use a blood test to determine if your food allergy is fixed and if so you will need to avoid the trigger foods and may need an Epipen or other medication for quick intervention if you accidentally consume the food.

For cyclic food allergies, your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office may ask you to keep a journal of everything you eat, and will then guide you through a food elimination process, in which you pull potential trigger foods from your diet and slowly add them back in, one at a time, to see if it causes a reaction. This can be a long process, and eventually, you can try eating small amounts of the foods again on occasion

If food allergies are causing you discomfort, call our Metairie office at 504-456-1999 or our Covington office at 985-246-6077 today.

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