Managing Food Allergies in Murray & West Jordan, UT
If you have a food allergy, it can be difficult to avoid the food entirely and keep yourself safe. With help from Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, at Allergy Associates of Utah in Murray and West Jordan, Utah, you can prepare a plan of action in case of an allergy attack to prevent or reduce life-threatening symptoms. To learn more about food allergies, epinephrine, and desensitization for peanut allergies, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
What is a food allergy?
Food allergies are some of the most severe allergies out there. While you can avoid your food allergen to the best of your ability as you prepare meals, even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.
If you have a food allergy, a reaction occurs because of your immune system’s response to certain food proteins. Food allergies are not the same as intolerances, which occur because of a lack of relevant digestive enzymes in your gut and tend to have milder symptoms.
What are some of the most common food allergies?
Potentially, you could be allergic to nearly any food that exists. However, eight foods account for 90% of all food allergies. They are:
- Tree nuts
It’s important to read food packaging carefully to make sure that the food you consume does not contain your allergen and is not exposed to it during manufacturing. Even certain substitutes for these foods still contain parts or proteins from the food itself.
At Allergy Associates of Utah, Dr. Smith and Dr. Sarin can help you navigate life with a food allergy to avoid your allergen and treat an allergic reaction promptly.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
Food allergy symptoms range from mild to severe and typically appear immediately after consuming the food, though it can take up to two hours for symptoms to appear in some cases. Possible symptoms of a food allergy include:
- Mouth tingling
- Tongue swelling
- Throat swelling
- Breathing problems
- Rashes and hives
- Blood pressure drop
- Dizziness or faintness
- Loss of consciousness
If your food allergy is severe, exposure to your allergen can lead to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, your body goes into shock; your blood pressure drops, and your airways constrict, making it hard to breathe.
How are food allergies treated?
Allergy Associates of Utah provides an array of food allergy tests and food challenges to confirm your food allergy diagnosis. They conduct these tests and challenges safely and supervise you closely to ensure that a dangerous reaction doesn’t occur.
In case of exposure to your food allergen, you may need to carry epinephrine with you at all times. Dr. Smith and Dr. Sarin prescribe EpiPen® and Twinject, two brand-name auto-injectors, and teach you to use them in the case of an allergic reaction. They may also recommend other medications and help you create an action plan in case of an attack.
Additionally, Allergy Associates of Utah provides the latest FDA-approved protocols for peanut allergy desensitization. This involves ongoing exposure to peanuts in increasing amounts to build your tolerance to them and reduce your chances of accidental exposure.