Testing For Food And Environmental Allergies

Allergies occur when the body’s natural defenses overreact to the exposure to certain substances by treating it as an invader and sending out chemicals to defend the body against it.

Research shows that around 3.2 million people in the United States have food allergies, including 5.6 million children that are under the age of 18. Other than that, 40 percent of American children are also allergic to more than one food substance.

In addition to that, more than 50 million Americans suffer from environmental allergies that rank among the most common causes of chronic illnesses in the United States.


Understanding Food Allergies

Symptoms of food allergies are common in children and can be hereditary. They can range from mild to severe—meaning that a food substance can trigger mild symptoms on one occasion but severe at another time.

While potentially any food can cause an adverse reaction, 90 percent of all reactions are primarily caused by the following foods:

  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Sesame and mustard seeds

Common symptoms of food allergies include:

  • Stomach cramps and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Circulatory collapse and shock
  • A weak pulse
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Pale or blue-colored skin
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Tight and hoarse throat, and repetitive coughing

The most severe form of allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, in which an individual experiences a dramatic drop in their blood pressure and impaired breathing that affects the heart rate. It can also prove fatal if not treated immediately.

Most of these symptoms occur within a few minutes or approximately two hours of ingestion.


Understanding Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies vary from person to person. An item that’s otherwise harmless for a person can lead to excessive coughing, sneezing, and fatigue in another who’s allergic to them.

Environmental allergies are different from food allergies because they aren’t a result of ingestion. They’re our body’s response that’s triggered by coming into contact with the substance or inhaling it.

Common environmental allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander or saliva
  • Mold and mildew
  • Cigarette smoke

Common symptoms of environmental allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Wheezing
  • Itching
  • Runny nose with thick green or yellow discharge
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue


Diagnosing and Treating Food and Environmental Allergies

While most of the symptoms for food and environmental allergies are manageable, a severe reaction can be life-threatening, and hence, it’s better to get ahead of the problem.

Whether you experience a few symptoms or none, it’s always better to get tested for common food and environmental allergies so you can take the necessary precautions to avoid the substance.

Dr. Aziz provides premier diagnosis and treatment for various food and environmental allergies. By examining your family’s medical history and conducting blood tests, skin tests, and diet elimination tests, Dr. Aziz will diagnose the allergy and devise a comprehensive treatment plan to help you manage the symptoms better.

For seasonal environmental allergies, the doctor will recommend over-the-counter medication that will provide relief from the symptoms and prevent them from getting aggravated. In addition to that, for food allergies, the doctor will draw up a treatment plan that will either require you to avoid consuming the food substance altogether or ingest it in small quantities.

Give your body the treatment it deserves and stay safe!  Get in touch with the staff today to book an evaluation.

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