Food Allergies Specialist

The Allergy Clinic

Allergists located in Houston, Pearland, and Pasadena, TX

Food allergies often appear early in life, affecting 1 in 13 children, but they can develop at any age. In fact, you could eat the same food for years, then suddenly develop an allergy. The team at The Allergy Clinic has extensive experience helping children and adults identify their food allergies, then developing a plan to keep each patient healthy and prevent a serious allergic reaction. If you suspect you have a food allergy, schedule an evaluation using the online booking feature or by calling one of the offices in Houston, Pasadena, and Pearland, Texas.

Food Allergies Q & A

What causes a food allergy?

A food allergy develops when your immune system mistakenly labels food protein as a threat to your body. The immune system creates antibodies for the protein and, as a result, every time you consume the same protein, it triggers an allergic reaction.

What are the most common food allergies?

Although you can develop an allergy to any protein-containing food, eight categories of food account for 90% of all allergies:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Peanut allergies are the most common, and only about 20% of children eventually outgrow the allergy. It’s also common for children with a peanut allergy to develop a tree nut allergy.

What are the symptoms of a food allergy?

Food allergy symptoms usually appear from within a few minutes to a few hours after eating. These are the most common symptoms of a mild to moderate food allergy:

  • Hives, itching, eczema
  • Itching or tingling mouth
  • Swelling of your lips, face, tongue or other areas of your body (angioedema)
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • A runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Keep in mind that the severity of your allergic reaction is unpredictable. You could have a mild reaction the first time, and the second reaction could be more serious.

Food allergies are one of the most common triggers of a severe allergic reaction, so it’s important to prevent future problems by getting help from The Allergy Clinic.

What type of severe reaction is caused by food allergies?

Food allergies are well known for their potential to cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This is a medical emergency. Immediately use your epinephrine pen and call 911 if you experience:

  • Swollen lips, tongue, and/or throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint or weak
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain

An anaphylactic reaction begins within minutes of exposure to your allergen. Some people also experience a second wave of symptoms hours after their initial symptoms.

How are food allergies treated?

Immunotherapy for peanut allergies is under investigation and may be a treatment option before long. Otherwise, there’s only one way to treat a food allergy: You must avoid eating the foods that trigger your allergies.

Your doctor at The Allergy Clinic can conduct allergy tests to determine which foods you need to avoid. You may also receive prescription antihistamines to relieve symptoms and an epinephrine auto-injector, so you’re prepared in the event of a serious reaction.

To get tested for food allergies, call The Allergy Clinic or book an appointment online.