Food Allergy Diagnosis & Treatment in Mississippi

Nothing is more frightening than eating a food only to have a reaction. Itchy mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, hives, and vomiting all can result from exposure to a food allergen, and can have life-threatening consequences.

Get help from the allergy diagnosis and treatment experts at the Mississippi Asthma & Allergy Clinic so eating doesn’t have to feel like walking in a minefield anymore.

What Are Food Allergies?

Food allergies occur when your body, for whatever reason, identifies a food substance as harmful. In an effort to protect you from this “harmful” substance, your body releases certain chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergy attack.

Some common food allergies include:

  • Milk

  • Eggs

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Wheat

  • Soy

While most food allergies present themselves in childhood, it is possible for adults to develop food allergies. Even if you’ve been eating a food your whole life, you can suddenly develop a reaction to it.

What Are Some Symptoms of Food Allergies?

Food allergy reactions can range from minor inconvenience to life-threatening. Some common symptoms of food allergies include:

  • Vomiting and/or stomach cramps

  • Hives

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Repetitive cough

  • Itchy mouth and throat

  • Shock or circulatory collapse

  • Tight, hoarse throat

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Swollen tongue, often impacting the ability to talk or breathe

  • Weak pulse

  • Pale or blue coloring of the skin

  • Dizziness or feeling faint

  • Anaphylaxis

Most allergic reactions occur within two hours of eating a food, but some reactions can be delayed by up to 4 to 6 hours. This delayed reaction is especially common in children who develop eczema as a symptom of their food allergy.

How Are Food Allergies Diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing a food allergy is to have your medical history taken and to answer some questions your doctor may have. Your doctor likely wants to know:

  • What you ate

  • How much you ate

  • How long it took for symptoms to develop

  • What symptoms you experienced

  • How long those symptoms lasted

Your allergist then may want to do some testing to determine exactly what substances you’re allergic to. The most common test, and the one with the fastest result, is the skin test.

In a skin prick test, a liquid with a small amount of the allergen is placed on your skin. Your skin is then pricked, allowing the allergen to enter your system. You then wait in your allergist’s office for about 20 minutes, and any spots with reactions are recorded.

Your doctor may also want to conduct a blood test, which measures the amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies in your blood.

An oral challenge may also be recommended. In this test, you will consume a small amount of your allergen in your doctor’s office, and be observed to see your reaction. The doses of food containing your allergen are gradually increased over the course of a few hours.

How Can MSAAC Help with My Food Allergies?

At MSAAC, our team of knowledgeable doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating food allergies. From your first visit, your concerns will be taken seriously and you will be given a plan of action to help you live your life with less fear of an allergic reaction.

Some ways the doctors at MSAAC can help with your food allergies include:

  • Skin testing

  • Blood testing

  • Oral challenges

  • Patch testing

  • Medication prescriptions

  • Notes for schools and daycares

  • Allergen avoidance plans

  • Tips for navigating situations such as eating out at restaurants and family gatherings

Our caring, helpful staff can guide you through the diagnosis and treatment process. Don’t waste time worrying about your next reaction - Schedule an appointment at one of our 5 convenient locations today!