Food Allergies

Monday, January 24, 2011

Food allergies are very common, occurring in between 2 to 10 percent of Americans. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of the more common triggers and symptoms of food allergies in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food. Food allergies can cause serious illness or death. The most common food allergies are to proteins in cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts.

In people with food allergies, even a tiny amount of the food can trigger an immune response. Peanuts and tree nuts are the leading causes of severe food allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions to food can be mild to severe. They usually occur within a few minutes of eating a food, though they rarely appear a few hours after ingestion. Symptoms can include runny nose, itchy skin, rash or hives, tingling in tongue or lips, tightness in throat, hoarse voice, wheezing, cough, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea.

Food intolerance is often confused with food allergy. It occurs when the digestive system is unable to properly break down food. Lactose intolerance after eating dairy foods is the most common form of food intolerance. Symptoms may include diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting, but not hives, airway swelling or anaphylaxis.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.