fOOD aLLERGY

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Food allergies have been on the rise over the past few decades, affecting approximately 15 million Americans. Allergic reactions to food can range from a mild itchy mouth to a severe, life-threatening reaction. Food allergy symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to a few hours after ingestion.The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  •  Hives, itching or eczema
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

In some people, a food allergy can trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This can cause life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:

  • Constriction and tightening of airways
  • A swollen throat or the sensation of a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Emergency treatment is critical for anaphylaxis. Untreated, anaphylaxis can be fatal, and it has been shown that early and appropriate measures, such as the use of prescription injectable epinephrine.

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