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5 Food Allergy-Related Medical Conditions

 Posted on June 26, 2023 in Food Allergies


Swollen throat, red eyes, vomiting, and an itchy mouth are indicators of an allergic reaction. While a person can be allergic to several things, such as dust, pollen, animal dander, mold, chemicals, metals, latex, certain medication, and insect stings, food is the most common cause of allergic reactions, affecting 8% of children and 6% of adults in the United States. In fact, over 90% of food allergy reactions are triggered by the consumption of eggs, peanuts, soy, sesame, wheat, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, and cow's milk.

If not treated promptly, food allergic reactions can give rise to various medical conditions that can destroy your quality of life forever and even lead to death. In this guide, we will provide you with an overview of five food allergy-related medical conditions, their symptoms, diagnostic approach, and effective management strategies. Without any more delay, let's begin.

1. Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction and requires immediate medical attention. An anaphylactic reaction can be life-threatening and can be triggered due to exposure to allergens like insect stings, shellfish, nuts, sesame, soy, eggs, and cow's milk.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include rapid or slow pulse, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, gastrointestinal stress, and loss of consciousness. Injecting epinephrine (adrenaline) is the primary treatment for anaphylaxis. Therefore, individuals at risk of an anaphylactic reaction should always carry an epi-pen.

2. Eczema

Otherwise known as Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition often associated with food allergies, especially in children. Eczema can cause itchiness, redness, inflammation, hives, irritability, and dry patches on the skin. An allergist will review your diagnostic tests and medical history to determine whether you have food-triggered eczema. If diagnosed, the allergist will ask you to remove the food from your diet and prescribe topical medications to manage the symptoms.  

3. Allergy Rhinitis

Commonly known as hay fever, Allergy Rhinitis is when the membranes inside and around the nose become inflamed because of exposure to allergens such as mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander. Hay fever symptoms include congestion, itchy eyes, throat, and nose, headaches, increased mucus in throat and nose, fatigue, wheezing, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.

While taking allergy medications, decongestants, leukotriene inhibitors, and immunotherapy can improve hay fever symptoms, the best way to reduce the risk is to identify the triggers.

4. Oral Allergy Syndrome

Occurring in people with pollen, tree, or grass allergies, Oral Allergy Syndrome is a severe allergic reaction that occurs when you eat certain raw vegetables, nuts, and fruits. Oral Allergy Syndrome can cause tingling, swelling, and itchiness in the throat, tongue, and mouth, bumps on lips, hives, nausea, and even breathing problems in severe cases.

There is no proper treatment for Oral Allergy Syndrome, as the symptoms go away on their own within 30 minutes. In case of a severe reaction, taking an antihistamine (Fexofenadine, Loratadine, and Diphenhydramine) or injecting yourself with an epi-pen is advised.

5. Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome is a food allergy that affects young children and infants. Inflaming the gastrointestinal system, Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pallor, and dehydration 2 to 4 hours after ingestion of the trigger food such as oats, rice, soy, and cow's milk.

Due to the delayed symptoms, it isn't easy to diagnose Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. According to doctors, children outgrow the medical condition between the ages of 3 to 5 years. During this time, it is important to monitor the child's progress and keep them away from trigger foods.

Do You Suspect a Food Allergy?

There's a thin line separating food intolerances and food allergies. While food intolerance is your body's reaction to a particular drink or food, a food allergic reaction occurs when your immune system reacts to food that is usually harmless to others.

For example, lactose intolerance is when your body lacks the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose – the sugar found in dairy products and milk. On the other hand, being allergic to shellfish means that your immune system will adversely react to any kind of shellfish, including lobsters, clams, crabs, and shrimp. In order to diagnose if you have a food intolerance or food allergy, the healthcare provider will order numerous diagnostic tests. Some of these are given below:

● Skin Prick Test: A needle is used to inject a small amount of food into your skin to see if it reacts.

● Dietary Review: A comprehensive session will be conducted in which the doctor will ask you about your diet and the symptoms.

● Blood Tests: Blood is drawn to check the level of IgE antibodies.

● Oral Food Challenges: The doctor will ask you to eat different foods in a controlled environment to check if your body reacts.

If diagnosed with a food allergy, the healthcare provider will refer you to a dietitian and recommend lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms.

Reach Out to a Newland & Newland, LLP Food Allergy Attorney

According to a report by Food Allergy Research & Education, approximately 26 million people in the United States (11% of the population) have some sort of food allergy. Even though food manufacturers and restaurant owners follow strict guidelines and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of food allergic reactions, it isn't inevitable.

So, if you or someone you love recently suffered an anaphylactic reaction due to the mismanagement and negligence of a food provider, the food allergy attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP can help you advocate for your legal rights. The lawyers will trace back the steps of the incident to make a strong case, collect necessary proof, and get testimonials from eyewitnesses to ensure that you not only win the case but receive financial compensation for the mental anguish, missed days of work, and medical expenses.

Contact us to hire a food allergy attorney in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Libertyville, Crystal Lake, Joliet, and Itasca.

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