People with food allergies have an allergic reaction when they come in contact with certain foods. This happens because their immune system overreacts to the proteins in that food. Twelve million people in the United States have food allergies.
The following are the most common food allergies in the United States:
- Cow's milk
- Tree nuts
Signs of a food allergy include:
- A rash, or red, itchy skin
- Stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes
- Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
- Angioedema or swelling
- Hoarseness, throat tightness or a lump in the throat
- Wheezing, chest tightness or trouble breathing
- Tingling in the hands or feet, lips or scalp
- Some people with food allergies can have a serious reaction called anaphylaxis. Signs of this kind of reaction include:
- If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
- If you think you have a food allergy, you should talk to an allergist/immunologist - a doctor with special training to manage allergies and asthma. An allergist can help you develop a treatment plan.