Food Allergies Treatment

Food Allergies Treatment

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    A
    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.
  • 10 Answers
    A
    A , Family Medicine, answered
    The mainstay of treatment for food allergy is prevention through avoidance of that food protein. There is no cure for food allergies, but you can use antihistamines and epinephrine to treat acute reactions.
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  • 4 Answers
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    A , Gastroenterology, answered
    An elimination diet requires that you eliminate most foods from your diet initially while maintaining a careful diary. Food groups are then gradually reintroduced into the diet, and you observe and record your reactions in the diary. An elimination diet may help you identify unsuspected triggers.  

    If you try an elimination diet, remember the following:
    • Keep a careful diary.
    • Do not rely upon your memory. If you are going to go to the trouble of trying an elimination regimen, then you must take the time to record your reactions in writing and analyze them afterward.
    • Psychological stressors and emotional upset might be playing an important role in your symptoms. Therefore, you might incorrectly implicate a food when the problem is really that symptoms are occurring in relationship to your stress response. This is why a diary in which you also include your emotional state of mind can be helpful.
    • Prepackaged and processed foods can contain unsuspected triggering foods and substances. There are some exceptions, such as carefully prepared organic foods, but a good rule of thumb to remember is, "fresh is best."
    • The amount of food eaten may matter. In other words, small amounts of a food may not be a problem, while larger amounts may. So make note of the quantity of food that you eat.
    • Some foods may only act as a trigger when eaten alone and not when eaten with other foods.
    • Strictly avoid alcohol, caffeine and coffee during the elimination diet trial.
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  • 1 Answer
    A
    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.


  • 2 Answers
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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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  • 2 Answers
    A
    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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    • 1 Answer
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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.