May 10-16 is National Food Allergy Awareness Week, a chance to educate others on the realities of living with a food allergy. Approximately 15-32 million Americans have food allergies, including 6 million children!

Unlike food intolerances or sensitivities, food allergies are caused when your immune system incorrectly labels the proteins in certain foods as “damaging.” Because your immune system thinks those proteins are harmful, the food can cause serious and potentially life-threatening reactions. Keep reading to learn more about the warning signs, problem foods, and treatment options for food allergies.

Signs and Symptoms

An allergic reaction from food, called anaphylaxis, can cause throat tightness, breathing issues, a skin rash, hoarseness, a drop in blood pressure, and more. Anaphylaxis can occur after eating, inhaling, or touching even a microscopic amount of food.

Symptoms of a common allergic reaction may appear minutes to hours after exposure and can include:
  • Skin that’s red, swollen, dry, itchy, or flaky (hives, eczema, or a rash)
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Itchy feeling inside your mouth or ears
  • Funny taste in your mouth
  • Cramps, upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting

Although any food can cause a reaction, the most common causes of severe allergic reactions are peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swollen tongue, throat, or lips
  • Feeling weak, disoriented, light-headed, or fainting
  • Uneven heartbeat or chest pain

Problem Foods

Unfortunately, you can be allergic to any type of food, and the only treatment is removing that trigger from your diet.

The most common foods to be allergic to include:
  1. Cow’s Milk – cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, cream, etc.
  2. Tree Nuts – almonds, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
  3. Shellfish – shrimp, prawns, crayfish, lobster, squid, scallops
  4. Eggs
  5. Peanuts
  6. Wheat
  7. Soy
  8. Fish

If you suspect you have a food allergy, speak with your doctor about your options. Click here to learn more about choosing safe foods, and find a local allergy support group here.

If you or a loved one experience an allergic reaction, we can help. Visit The Colony ER Hospital for quick and easy treatment!

Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony ER Hospital, or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, The Colony ER Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.