ZocdocAnswersHow do you know if you're allergic to a food?

Question

How do you know if you're allergic to a food?

Can you be tested for food allergies? Sometimes my stomach hurts bad after I eat, but I thought it was just gas or indigestion or something. Could I be allergic and not know it?

Answer

Allergic reactions to food may manifest in various different ways depending on the degree of exposure. An allergic reaction is generally an immune response to proteins in food. There maybe other reactions that are not allergic such as food intolerance, a drug reaction or a toxic reaction. Allergic reactions may range from skin allergic reactions and hives, itching, nasal congestion, to gastrointestinal reactions, to shortness of breath, severe respiratory distress and anaphylaxis that may cause your airway to swell and close requiring emergent life saving measures. Treatment for allergic responses to food include avoidance of the food. Most commonly, food allergies are due to milk, eggs, peanuts and seafood, Based on your history, it is possible that you have an allergic reaction to food and you should seek medical attention. An allergist can help diagnose this condition and help guide further therapy. You may go through a skin prick test with various different materials, blood testing or food challenges. These tests must be done in the presence of a medical health professional in the event that a serious reaction may occur. Based on the findings, you maybe given an Epinephrine pen to carry for emergency situations. You should definitely discuss this with your primary care doctor who will refer you to the appropriate professional for additional testing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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