Food Allergies

While any food can cause an allergic reaction, the most commonly diagnosed and treated food allergies are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and eggs. A food allergist can give patients expert care in the specifics of their disease, including the cause of the allergic reaction determined by food allergy testing, education about food avoidance and use of emergency measures in case of exposure.
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Food Allergies Milk

FPIES

Also commonly called a delayed food allergy, FPIES stands for Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. A severe allergic reaction known for causing diarrhea and vomiting, FPIES is an especially concerning condition because it can progress into more concerning conditions such as dehydration and can even cause the body to go into shock brought on by poor circulation of the blood as well as low blood pressure.

FPIES Triggers

Although the reactions are more severe than many allergies, like most allergic reactions, FPIES is triggered by ingesting particular foods or food groups. While various foods can trigger this type of reaction, the usual suspects are typically foods and ingredients such as soy, grains, as well as milk. Additionally, FPIES typically develops in infancy and most babies are eventually discovered to have multiple once they venture off into formula and/or solid foods.

Diagnosing FPIES

Since there is no definitive method of testing for FPIES, receiving a diagnosis is the result of an in-depth analysis of the patient's medical history as symptoms, as well as a physical examination.

FPIES Treatment

Since technically speaking, there is no cure for the reaction caused by FPIES, the best method of treatment is to avoid the triggering food(s) altogether. This requires paying extra special attention to children and those who may suffer from mental health issues. In the event that a severe reaction does occur, the patient may be administered intravenous fluids and/or steroids to counteract the side effects.

IgE

Simply put, Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, are antibodies that are produced within the immune system. To take it a step further, those who suffer from allergies are often subjected to a systemic overreaction of the immune system. The antibodies that are produced during this reaction, are IgE's. Known for causing a reaction in places such as the lungs, nose, throat, and/or on the skin, or even triggering asthma attack like events, IgE's the antibodies that are released during the overreaction travel to chemical-releasing cells, which causes the allergic reaction.

IgE Triggers

Additionally, each individual IgE has a radar of sorts, that alerts them to the fact that a particular allergen has been introduced into the bloodstream. Therefore, this is the reason why some people are only allergic to one allergen (i.e. pollen), while others may be allergic to an entire class of foods (i.e. citrus fruits). Some of the most common IgE causing foods are as follows:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Various Food
  • Insect stings
  • Animal dander
  • Various Medications/Drugs
  • Latex

IgE Diagnosis

The only method of getting diagnosed with allergies that are triggered by IgE's is to visit an allergist or immunologist.

IgE Treatment

As with most food allergies, the best treatment for IgE is to avoid the triggering food(s) altogether. On the other hand, once a reaction has already begun, the next best method of treatment is an epinephrine shot.

Food Allergy Breathing
Food Allergy Non-iGe

Non-IgE

A food sensitivity issue that includes a spectrum of disorders primarily affecting the digestive tract, Non-immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated or Non-IgE is a blanket term used to describe allergic reactions such as food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), allergic proctocolitis (AP), and food protein-induced enteropathy (FPE), among others.

Non-IgE Triggers

Unlike other allergies and food sensitivities, Non-IgE reactions are typically delayed from hours to even weeks after one has ingested the triggering food(s). However, the reactions also vary and can result in a mild case of the sneezes to very severe emesis, lethargy, and/or gastrointestinal issues.

Non-IgE Diagnosis

Given the full spectrum of disorders associated with non-IgE's as well as the lack of a specific diagnostic test, being diagnosed with a Non-IgE issue is typically the result of an analysis of one's medical history as well as a visit to a well-informed allergist or immunologist.

Non-IgE Treatment

As with most allergic disorders, the key to treating Non-IgE disorders is to avoid the triggering food(s) altogether. However, it may also be beneficial to visit a dietician if the patient is having issues finding ways to maintain a balanced diet, despite the allergens. Furthermore, emergency medical intervention in the form of shots, IV's. anti-allergy medications, and more may be administered in the case of a severe reaction.

EGIDs

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders or EGIDs are known for being rare conditions that occur when there are excessive levels of eosinophils (which are the white blood cells involved in allergic reactions) in one or more parts of the patient's digestive tract.

EGID Triggers

Triggered by a variety of foods, the symptoms of EGIDs are as follows:

  • Issues with swallowing
  • Nausea/ Vomiting
  • Acid Reflux
  • Unexplained Abdominal Pain
  • Lack of Age-Appropriate Weight Gain

Diagnosing EGID's

Given the extensive nature of EGID's, only a biopsy can be used to accurately diagnoses these disorders. Once a diagnosis is made, experts usually suggest that the patient is checked for both food and environmental triggers in order to better manage the disorder moving forward.

Treating EGID's

The best treatments for EGID's are dietary or medical therapy, following a restrictive diet, or even taking medications that reverse the eosinophils in the esophagus. In the case of smaller children, food avoidance is often the top go-to as it is ill-advised to repeatedly trigger and compromise the digestive tract of a child.

Food Allergy EGIDs

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