Question

Food Allergies Symptoms

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

A Answers (8)

  • AMark Hyman, MD, Functional Medicine, answered
    What are the symptoms of food allergies?

    Symptoms of delayed food allergies can include brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, depression, digestive issues, joint and muscle pain, and more. Watch functional medicine expert Mark Hyman, MD, describe common but subtle symptoms of food sensitivities.

  • True food allergies are caused by immune system reactions. Most reactions occur within five minutes to one hour after eating the food. Symptoms can be mild such as hives (red, raised, itchy patches of skin), swelling, itchy/watery eyes, and runny nose or sneezing. Severe symptoms (also called anaphylaxis) can include throat swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea, feeling dizzy and passing out. Sometimes severe reactions that are not treated quickly can even lead to death. Symptoms can vary from person to person and can even change with different times a person has exposure to the food he is allergic to. If you suspect you may be having severe allergic symptoms, call 911 immediately.
  • Common symptoms are dermatologic (rash, swelling), respiratory (coughing, wheezing, throat tightness, change in voice quality), gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea) or circulatory (hypotension, syncope). The most concerning problem is anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. Anaphylaxis most often involves at least two body systems -- but any reaction that involves a body system beyond the skin is concerning.
  • AHealthwise answered

    Symptoms of food allergy can affect many parts of your body, including your:

    • Digestive system. Symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching in the mouth and throat and rectal bleeding (rare in adults). These symptoms occur more often in children than in adults.
    • Skin. Symptoms include hives or welts, swelling, itching, redness, and atopic dermatitis. Skin reactions are common in children.
    • Respiratory system. Symptoms include coughing; wheezing; an itchy, stuffy, runny nose; sneezing; and trouble breathing.

    Children usually have the same symptoms as adults. Symptoms of milk or soy allergies in children may include eczema, a runny nose and wheezing. But sometimes the only symptoms are extreme crying, vomiting, blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation or poor growth.

    Symptoms vary from mild to life-threatening and can appear from within minutes to days of eating a food. The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis, which affects many body systems and can be deadly.

    Anaphylaxis can start within a few minutes to a few hours after you eat the food. And the symptoms can go away and come back hours later. Common triggers for anaphylaxis are peanuts, nuts and seafood. In children, peanuts cause anaphylaxis more often than other foods. Aspirin, exercise or alcohol can increase the risk for anaphylaxis.

    Symptoms may be more severe if you also have another type of allergy, such as an allergy to pollens or mold. Tobacco smoke, stress and colds can also make symptoms worse.

    There are many other conditions with similar symptoms, such as food poisoning and inflammatory bowel disease.

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

  • AVandana R. Sheth, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Symptoms of food allergy reactions could vary. According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network "reactions may begin with a tingling sensation, itching, or a metallic taste in the mouth. Other symptoms can include hives, a sensation of warmth, wheezing or other difficulty breathing, coughing, swelling of the mouth and throat area, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms may begin anywhere from several minutes to two hours after eating an offending food, but life-threatening reactions may get worse over a period of several hours. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. The symptoms of anaphylaxis can include any of those associated with an allergic reaction to food."
  • AMichael T. Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Food allergies are associated with a multitude of symptoms and health conditions:

    • Gastrointestinal: Canker sores, celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, duodenal ulcer, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption, ulcerative colitis

    • Genitourinary: Bed-wetting, chronic bladder infections, nephrosisImmune: Chronic infections, frequent ear infections

    • Mental/emotional: Anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, insomnia irritability, mental confusion, personality change, seizures

    • Musculoskeletal: Bursitis, joint pain, low back painRespiratory: Asthma, chronic bronchitis, wheezing

    • Skin: Acne, eczema, hives, itching, skin rash

    • Miscellaneous: Arrhythmia, edema, fainting, fatigue, headache, hypoglycemia, itchy nose or throat, migraines, sinusitis
  • ADiscovery Health answered
    The symptoms of an allergic reaction to a food range from tingling tongue and lips to abdominal cramps to difficulty breathing and, in the most serious cases, shock. The reaction site and its severity can vary a lot. When there are two or more organ systems are involved or if there's wheezing, then the reaction is considered severe. The reactions may get worse and worse with subsequent exposures. Just because someone has had only mild reactions to a food doesn't mean that the next reaction won't be serious and potentially fatal.
  • AScott H. Sicherer, MD, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System

    Typical symptoms occurring minutes to an hour or two after a food is eaten.  Typical symptoms include: ones affecting the skin with hives that look like mosquito bites, swelling and itching of the skin often including lip swelling, and skin rashes; gut symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; breathing symptoms such as throat tightness, repetitive cough, wheeze and symptoms could be severe including trouble breathing; and potentially blood circulation can be compromised leading to paleness, blue color, dizziness, confusion or fainting.  In its most severe form, anaphylaxis, severe allergic reactions can be fatal. 

    In addition to these immediate reactions, there are a variety of symptoms and illnesses that might signal a food allergy.  These are primarily persistent and chronic symptoms affecting the skin or gut.   Some typical symptoms that may raise suspicion are rashes of atopic dermatitis, blood in infant stool, having poor growth and chronic vomiting, diarrhea or reflux.  It is rare for food to be the sole trigger of asthma or hay fever.  There is no clear evidence that food allergy causes behavioral problems, bed wetting, headaches, joint pains, fevers, infections, fatigue, or acne.  There are many causes and triggers of chronic symptoms that might be attributed to food so it is important to work with your doctor, and often a Board-certified allergist, to determine a cause, whether a food or alternative explanation. 

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