Food Allergies
Monday, October 6, 2008

If you have a food allergy, your body mistakes certain foods as harmful, and produces antibodies which can lead to a range of physical symptoms. Dr. Ed Hill discusses food allergies in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

A food allergy is when your body has a reaction to a certain food. This reaction is caused by your body’s immune system, which is what protects you from diseases.

You might have a minor reaction such as hives or itchy skin or lips. You could also have a more serious reaction such as throat or tongue swelling, dizziness, nausea or vomiting. Some reactions can be life-threatening.

Food allergies are more common in babies, but children and adults can also have them. You are more likely to have a food allergy if you or a family member has had hay fever, asthma, food allergies or eczema.

Any food can cause an allergy but children are most likely to be allergic to cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts and soy products. Adults are most likely to be allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish.

Check the labels of all foods to see if they contain foods you are allergic to. If someone else will be cooking for you, be sure to tell him or her what foods you are allergic to.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.