Printer Friendly

During our children's checkups, thepediatrician always asks whether they've had any allergic reactions to food.

Dear Ms. Owens:

A number of people may be sensitive to foods, experiencing nausea or other intestinal symptoms, but true allergy is rare.

Initial symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, wheezing, itching, and swelling of the lips and face. The symptoms can appear within minutes or, in some cases, after several days. Usually they can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine and an ice pack.

Some people, unfortunately, are susceptible to severe allergic reactions. For them, just a bite of the wrong food - most often shellfish, nuts, peanuts, and eggs - an lead to an emergency situation. Symptoms of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) include flushing; swelling of the throat, tongue, hands, and feet; wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and hoarseness; headache; nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps; sense of impending doom; and loss of consciousness. If not treated immediately, anaphylaxis can be fatal. It should be considered a medical emergency.

Anyone with known allergies should talk to his doctor about the drug epinephrine. Epinephrine is available in an easy-to-use auto-injector called the EpiPen. The disposable injector, which comes in adult and child dosages, has a concealed needle, minimizing apprehension. It works fast and causes little or no pain. Children with known life-threatening allergies should have an EpiPen available both at home and at school.

Prevention, of course, is still the best treatment for severe food allergies. People with known food allergies should read labels for hidden additives. It is often the hidden ingredient that catches an allergy sufferer off-guard and brings on a reaction.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Ask Dr. Cory; symptoms of food allergies
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Humpty Dumpty's Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Previous Article:If you could catch a snowflake....
Next Article:Our son was recently diagnosed withcat scratch disease.

Related Articles
Food allergy: analyzing fatal reactions.
And while we're on the subject of allergies....
Sorry, I'm allergic to it.
We think that our son might be allergic to nuts. How should we handle this over the holidays when there seem to be so many situations when foods are...
Food Allergies.
Allergies: Environmental or Food? Which Are You Suffering From?
Eating with the enemy: in recent years the prevalence and awareness of food allergies has been on the rise.
Campers with food allergies.
Addressing food allergies: clear procedures help K12 administrators deal with this escalating problem in schools.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters