Food allergy testing in Atlanta

Are You Experiencing Food Allergy Symptoms?

Over 30 million people in the United States suffer from food allergies, but without food allergy testing it’s difficult to confirm the cause of your symptoms. In many cases, it’s hard to determine whether the issue is an allergy or an intolerance, leading to confusion and dietary challenges. So what can parents in Atlanta do if they believe that they or their children have a food allergy?

What Steps Should I Take if I Think I Have a Food Allergy?

1. Food Avoidance

If you experience an adverse reaction to eating a certain food, remove it from your diet until you have been tested for allergies. There are downsides to eliminating foods from a healthy diet, but avoidance is only temporary until your allergist has confirmed an allergy and developed a treatment plan.

2. Pay Attention to the Symptoms

The symptoms you experience will give some initial insight into the condition. Allergy symptoms usually occur quickly after consuming food, while the signs of a food intolerance typically take hours or even days. Some of the common symptoms of a food allergy are as follows.

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Nausea
  • Anaphylaxis in severe cases

3. Make an Appointment With an Allergist

An allergist will discuss your symptoms and medical history before conducting food allergy testing. One of the benefits of food allergy testing is the ability to know precisely what foods are causing immune system issues. These insights are gained through a skin prick test, blood test or oral challenge test.

4. Carry Epinephrine for Emergencies

Sadly, food allergies will be life-threatening for a small minority of allergy sufferers. To prevent the severe consequences of an allergic reaction, your allergist may recommend carrying an epinephrine auto-injector.

5. Make Notes About Your Symptoms

After experiencing allergy symptoms, it can be helpful to make notes to share with your allergist. You can simply write down what you eat and whether or not you experience any symptoms, whether immediate or delayed. Your food allergy doctor will find this information to be useful, and it will be used alongside allergy testing and medical history to make a comprehensive diagnosis.

Why Should I Speak to an Allergy Doctor?

Allergic Reactions Can Get Worse

An initial allergic reaction may be mild, but subsequent responses can increase in severity. Food allergies are unpredictable, making it crucial to seek medical help as early as possible.

You May Have Misdiagnosed Symptoms

Confirming the exact nature of your food allergy can be difficult when so many ingredients make up products and recipes. You could also easily mistake a food intolerance for a food allergy. Your allergist will provide clarity and a well-thought-out treatment plan.

Your Diet Could Suffer

Removing entire food groups from your diet can have long-term ramifications. For example, you may experience a reaction to a walnut, and then avoid all types of nuts with the belief that you have a tree nut allergy. Food allergy testing also ensures you don’t unnecessarily miss out on important vitamins and nutrients.

What Can I Do if I Accidentally Eat Food I’m Allergic To?

If you believe you are allergic to a certain food, you will probably be extra cautious in your daily life. Parents concerned about their child are especially likely to go out of their way to avoid the problem food until they have visited an allergist. Unfortunately, avoidance is difficult since traces of these foods can be found as ingredients (or cross-contamination) in many unexpected products. If you or your child accidentally eat something you suspect is causing allergic reactions, here’s what you can do.

  • Stop eating the food – At the first sign of an issue, practice caution and stop eating the problem food.
  • Pay attention to symptoms – Watch for common symptoms like stomach pains, itchy eyes, a runny nose and even shortness of breath.
  • Drink water – Make sure to stay hydrated, particularly if you experience diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Take over-the-counter medication – For mild symptoms you can get relief using creams, antihistamines and other products before seeing your allergist.
  • Take emergency steps if required – In cases of potential anaphylaxis, you will want quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector. You should also contact emergency services at the first sign of a severe reaction.

We Provide Effective Treatment for Food Allergies

If you believe you or your child suffer from a food allergy, make an appointment with Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center. Food allergy testing will identify any allergies and start the process towards effective treatment. We have locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Request an appointment online or by calling (678) 668-4688.

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