Food Allergies Treatment

Food Allergies Treatment

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    An elimination diet is often recommended when trying to pin down the cause of a possible allergy. While there are many tests out there to test for allergies, an elimination diet, when done correctly, is the one of the best ways to identify the culprit of a food allergy or intolerance. This diet is done by eliminating possible trigger foods, particularly the foods that are typically allergens including: Wheat and gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish and soy. A person should plan to stay on a complete elimination diet, avoiding all possible trigger foods, for about 4 days. After that initial elimination, trigger foods will be eaten one at a time, including one particular trigger food 3 times during a day, unless, of course, a reaction occurs! 

    During this diet, a food diary should be kept where all foods that are eaten are recorded and any side effects or reactions are noted. After introducing a food, the individual should plan to go back on the complete elimination diet for 2-3 more days, continuing to record foods and negative reactions in a food diary. One will continue this process of introducing possible trigger foods until the food causing the allergy or intolerance is identified. For a teen, it is important that this diet is monitored by a Registered Dietitian or physician to ensure the proper balance of nutrients are being provided during the elimination period.
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    There is no cure for fructose intolerance, but doctors have identified the gene that causes it. You can be tested to determine if you are a carrier and what your odds may be of passing the disease to your children. If you have fructose intolerance, you can minimize your symptoms by avoiding foods that contain fructose. Try to avoid sugar, soft drinks, desserts, and fruits like cherries, apples, grapes, and pears.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Celebs Ask Dr. Oz: Duff Goldman
    Would you know what to do if someone you love is having a food allergy attack?

    Watch the video to find out from Dr Oz what you should do if someone is having a food allergy attack.


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    A Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of
    The long-term treatment plans for food allergy and food intolerance are very different. Remember when you were a kid and got vaccines so that your immune system would protect you against all those diseases? A food allergy is also an immune response and your body thinks it is now “protecting” you against the food. The problem is that a food allergy is often a lifelong problem. As a result, the long-term treatment plan for food allergy includes the following:
    • Avoid the product (likely for life, since your body will always protect you from that food). Accidental exposure could result in death.
    • You will likely need an injectable epinephrine pen, school forms for strict avoidance and an anaphylaxis action plan.
    Food intolerance is different. An intolerance might be lifelong (lactose intolerance or celiac disease) or it might be temporary. If it’s temporary, there is no good way to tell when to bring back the food. You just have to try and see what happens. For this reason, the general plan for intolerance is:
    • Avoid the food (for now). Accidental ingestion will likely trigger your symptoms but will not cause a risk of death.
    • Wait an amount of time. Possibly three months, six months, or a year (discuss this with a healthcare professional).
    • At some point, consider bringing back the product. If you can tolerate it again, great. If not, then remove it again for another period of three to 12 months.
    • There is no need for an epinephrine injector or school forms.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    An antihistamine (Benadryl) is often used to treat mild food allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, skin itching/rash, hives.

    Epipen (injectable epinephrine) is the medication of choice for a severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis.

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      A few research centers throughout the country have children and adults enrolled in trials involving oral and sublingual immunotherapy. This therapy, in which patients with allergies are given small but increasing amounts of the food they are allergic to, shows promise. Right now, significant debate exists as to whether this therapy might lead to a permanent change in the patient’s immune system or just a temporary state of tolerance.
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      A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered

      All foods can be introduced after an elimination diet. The important thing is to add them one at a time so that you will know which food is causing a symptom that might come back. So if your migraine headaches went away during an elimination diet and they come back when you eat a certain food, then you know what the culprit is.

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      First, it is important to make sure that an accurate diagnosis has been made. Recent expert panel guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy in the United States underscore the importance of proper diagnosis. Make sure to work with your doctor, preferably a board certified allergist, to make sure that you know what foods need to be avoided and how to manage symptoms and allergic reactions.

      I believe that people with food allergy should be able to do what everyone else does except for eating the food to which they are allergic. However, keeping safe by avoiding the food that you're allergic to is not simple and requires a lot of education. Briefly, areas of special education about food avoidance include reading ingredient labels on manufactured products, understanding how to get safe meals in a restaurant, understanding food avoidance at home including avoiding cross contact of foods with allergens, and, for children, special issues for schools and camps. 

      The other major issue with living with food allergy is to learn how to recognize symptoms and treat them. The primary treatment for a severe allergic reaction is epinephrine which, for people with severe allergies, is carried at all times as a self injector. Talk to your doctor about when and how to use this life-saving device. For children, an adult must be knowledgeable about recognizing and treating symptoms. Consider obtaining medical identification jewelry as well. Sometimes living with a severe food allergy can take a nutritional, social and emotional toll on the individual and family. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this as well, to consider advice from dietitians, mental health professionals, and other resources.

      The current treatment is therefore avoiding the food and being ready to treat with medications in the event of a severe allergic reaction. However, the good news about food allergy is that many future therapies are under study.

      Additional resources are available through the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, Food Allergy Initiative, and the Consortium of Food Allergy Research.

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