As a parent or caregiver, you may have many questions about how to keep your child safe when he or she is diagnosed with a food allergy by your allergy doctor in New York. Here we offer information about how your child can live safely with food allergies and provide a source that answers some of your most important questions.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today to discuss any allergy concerns you may have regarding you or your child.
What is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is an adverse immune system reaction that can occur in response to an offending substance – in this case, a food. Food allergies can be mild to severe and life threatening. The role of the immune system is normally to protect people from germs; in a person with food allergies, the body mistakenly responds to food as if it were harmful.
What are the Most Common Food Allergies?
- Eggs, especially egg whites
- Soy Beans
- MSG, a flavor enhancer present in many packaged foods and often in Chinese food
- Sulfates, a preservative present in most wines
What are Some Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Food?
Even a trace amount of an allergy-causing food can trigger symptoms such as:
- Digestive problems
- Swollen airways
- In some cases, anaphylaxis, which can be severe to life threatening
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that has a rapid onset and may cause death. Although most allergic reactions are mild and do not cause anaphylaxis, the early signs of anaphylaxis do resemble mild allergic symptoms, so it is not always easy to tell whether these initial mild symptoms will progress. Therefore, all children with known food allergies must be closely monitored and possibly treated for anaphylaxis.
Can Food Allergies go Away with Time?
There is no pill, potion, or trick can make your child’s food allergy go away. Some allergies will dissipate or disappear; other children will outgrow their allergies. In the meantime, see Dr. Shukla, your allergy doctor in New York, for information and support.
Can Putting My Child on a Special Diet Help Pinpoint His/her Allergic Foods?
Before doing any other type of testing, your allergy doctor in New York may put your child on a special diet to narrow down the list of foods he will test for. You may be asked to keep a daily food diary where you list all the foods your child eats and their observable symptoms for the day. If one or two foods seem to cause allergies, you may try having your child avoid them for two weeks, then try reintroducing them to see if they cause flare-ups. Never make decisions about avoiding or reintroducing foods you suspect without consulting your doctor. If any foods are suspected to be the cause of allergies, your allergy doctor will follow up by running skin and blood tests.
What Tests Will My Allergy Doctor in New York Run to Check for Food Allergies?
A skin test shows how your child’s immune system reacts to selected allergens. Blood tests can reveal the presence of antibodies, which indicate a sensitivity. However, these allergy tests alone are NOT suitable to diagnose an allergy! Your doctor must also factor in your personal and family medical history, plus understand your environment, to get a complete picture from which to draw conclusions about your allergies.
Are Food Allergies Inherited from Parents/ Families?
As with all allergies, food allergies can be inherited. Generally, if one parent has allergies (of any kind) the risk of their child developing allergies is 48%; if both parents have allergies, the child’s risk becomes 70%. However, it’s important to note that just because parents may present allergy symptoms, this does not mean that all children in the family will.
Allergy Doctor in New York
Dr. Mayank Shukla specializes in pediatric pulmonology and allergy medicine. He is an expert at working with children as well as adults and can diagnose and treat your child for his or her food allergies with care and precision. Contact Dr. Shukla Today for a Consultation!