food allergy can affect many parts of your body,
- Digestive system. Symptoms include stomach cramps,
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching in the mouth and throat, and rectal
bleeding (rare in adults). These symptoms occur more often in children
than in adults.
- Skin. Symptoms include
hives or welts, swelling, itching, redness, and
atopic dermatitis. Skin reactions are common in
- Respiratory system. Symptoms include coughing;
wheezing; an itchy, stuffy, runny nose; sneezing; and trouble
Children usually have the same symptoms as adults.
Symptoms of milk or soy allergies in children may include
eczema, a runny nose, and wheezing. But sometimes the
only symptoms are extreme crying,
vomiting, blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation, or poor growth.
Symptoms vary from mild to life-threatening and can appear
from within minutes to days of eating a food. The most severe reaction is
anaphylaxis, which affects many body systems and can be deadly.
Anaphylaxis can start within a few minutes to a few hours after you eat the
food. And the symptoms can go away and come back hours later. Common triggers for anaphylaxis are peanuts, nuts,
and seafood. In children, peanuts cause anaphylaxis more often than other
foods.2, 3 Aspirin, exercise,
or alcohol can increase the risk for anaphylaxis.2
Symptoms may be more severe if you also have
another type of allergy, such as an allergy to pollens or mold. Tobacco smoke,
stress, and colds can also make symptoms worse.
There are many
other conditions with similar symptoms, such as
food poisoning and
inflammatory bowel disease.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
March 9, 2011
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