How do food allergies affect teenagers?

Paul M. Ehrlich, MD
Allergy & Immunology
High school is a time when children turn into what the novelist Alison Lurie called "big strangers." Teenagers may live in your home, but they are not the kids you once knew. With allergic or asthmatic children, the natural pulling away and assertion of independent identity are compromised by the illness. The EpiPen or inhaler they have to carry with them is like Mom's apron strings. Dietary limitations and discipline are like having the old lady looking over their shoulders while they are out driving around with friends and going through other rites of passage. The parents of nonallergic friends "only" have to worry about driving, drinking, and drugs. The parents of allergic children get to worry about ice cream and peanuts as well as cigarette smoking and their friends' pets.
Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

More About this Book

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

Asthma and allergies are at epidemic proportions. It doesn't have to be that way. Two experienced pediatric allergists tell everything a conscientious parent needs to know about these conditions,...
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Teenagers typically do not want to seem different from their peers. This is a stage when socialization and friendships have a profound effect. A teenager with food allergies needs to be vigilant about their food allergies while continuing to enjoy life as a teenager. Parents need to be supportive while reminding their teens about "safe" food choices. A registered dietitian specializing in food allergies can be a valuable team member who can support and provide teens with tips to handle various social situations while maintaining food allergy safety.

Continue Learning about Food Allergies Symptoms

What are the symptoms of an IgE-mediated food allergy?
Jessica R. Savage, MDJessica R. Savage, MD
The symptoms of an IgE-mediated food allergy can include lip tingling, mouth swelling and throat tig...
More Answers
Can I develop food allergy symptoms several days later?
Louise GoldbergLouise Goldberg
No. The symptoms develop within minutes or up to 2 hours after a person has eaten food that contains...
More Answers
Are there food allergy symptoms my doctor might miss?
Dr. Mark Hyman, MDDr. Mark Hyman, MD
Functional Medicine Specialist and family physician Dr. Mark Hyman explains how food allergies c...
More Answers
What are symptoms of dairy allergies?
Intermountain HealthcareIntermountain Healthcare
The most common symptoms of a dairy allergy include: Skin reactions: itchy red rash; hives; eczem...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.