Food Allergy

What is Food Allergy 

Food allergy is when your body reacts to a food in a way that is not normal. The reaction can be gentle or very bad.

Signs of a Gentle Reaction

  • Stuffy nose.
  • Tingling in the mouth.
  • An itchy, red rash.
  • Throwing up (vomiting).
  • Watery poop (diarrhea).

Signs of a Very Bad Reaction

  • Puffiness (swelling). This may be on the lips, face, or tongue, or in the mouth or throat.
  • Breathing loudly (wheezing).
  • A hoarse voice.
  • Itchy, red, swollen areas of skin (hives).
  • Dizziness or light-headedness.
  • Fainting.
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • A tight feeling in the chest.
  • A very fast heartbeat.

Follow these instructions at home:

General instructions

  • Avoid the foods that you are allergic to.
  • Read food labels. Look for ingredients that you are allergic to.
  • When you are at a restaurant, tell your server that you have an allergy. Ask if your meal has an ingredient that you are allergic to.
  • Take medicines only as told by your doctor. Do notdrive until the medicine has worn off, unless your doctor says it is okay.
  • Tell all people who care for you that you have a food allergy. This includes your doctor and dentist.
  • If you think that you might be allergic to something else, talk with your doctor. Do noteat a food to see if you are allergic to it without talking with your doctor first.

If you have a very bad allergy:

  • Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you have an allergy.
  • Carry your allergy kit (anaphylaxis kit) or an allergy shot (epinephrine injection) with you all the time. Use them as told by your doctor.
  • Make sure that you, your family, and your boss know:
    • How to use your allergy kit.
    • How to give you an allergy shot.
  • If you use the medicine epinephrine:
    • Get more right away in case you have another reaction.
    • Get help. You can have a life-threatening reaction after taking the medicine.

If you are being tested for an allergy:

  • Follow a diet as told by your doctor.
  • Keep a food diary as told by your doctor. Every day, write down:
    • What you eat and drink and when.
    • What problems you have and when.

Contact a doctor if:

  • The signs of your reaction have not gone away within 2 days.
  • The signs of your reaction get worse.
  • You have new signs of a reaction.

Get help right away if:

  • You use the medicine epinephrine.
  • You are having a very bad reaction. Signs of a very bad reaction are:
    • Puffiness. This may be on the lips, face, or tongue, or in the mouth or throat.
    • Breathing loudly.
    • A hoarse voice.
    • Itchy, red swollen areas of skin.
    • Dizziness or light-headedness.
    • Fainting.
    • Trouble breathing or swallowing.
    • A tight feeling in the chest.
    • A very fast heartbeat.
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