Food Allergy Specialist

Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology

Allergists & Immunologists located in Clark, NJ & Garfield, NJ

About 4-6% of children and 4% of adults have a food allergy. Board-certified adult and pediatric allergy and immunology specialists Peter Benincasa, MD, and Richard E. Luka, MD, offer expert food allergy treatment at Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in Clark, Clifton, and Garfield, New Jersey. If you think you or a loved one might suffer from food allergies, call or go online to book an appointment.

Food Allergy Q & A

What foods cause allergies?

Any food can trigger an allergic reaction, even one you’ve eaten for years without a problem. However, about 90% of allergic reactions involve the following types of food:

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

Certain seeds, such as mustard and sesame seeds, are also common triggers of allergic reactions that can appear as ingredients in condiments and dressings.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

An allergic reaction to food can affect your skin, digestive system, respiratory system, or cardiovascular system. Depending on the type of allergy you have, food allergies can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Pale or blue-colored skin
  • Vomiting or stomach cramps
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Throat tightness or difficulty swallowing
  • Tongue swelling
  • Difficulty talking or breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Anaphylaxis

Most food allergy symptoms appear within two hours after eating the trigger food, but they will often occur within minutes. Delayed reactions are most common in children who get eczema as a food allergy symptom.

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is another type of delayed reaction that most often occurs in infants who are around new foods for the first time. FPIES involves repetitive vomiting that starts two to six hours after consuming milk, soy, or certain grains.

How do I know if I have a food allergy?

You may be allergic to a certain food if you experience a reaction every time you eat that particular food. Symptoms of food allergies can vary, so you may not have the same response every time.

The best way to find out if you or your child has food allergies is to schedule an appointment at Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. It’s helpful to note the kind of foods you eat and the symptoms they may cause so you can share that information with your doctor.

After a physical exam and a review of your medical history, your doctor may perform skin tests or blood tests. They may also suggest an oral food challenge, which involves eating tiny amounts of suspected food triggers under strict medical supervision. An oral food challenge is the most accurate way to diagnose food allergies.

Once your allergies are confirmed, your doctor will help you manage your symptoms. The long-term plan may involve avoiding trigger foods and carrying emergency epinephrine in case of anaphylaxis.

To find out if you or a loved one has food allergies, call or go online to book an appointment today.