ALLERGY TO FOODS AND FOOD ADDITIVES ARE COMMONLY SEEN IN OUR OFFICE.  Pin pointing the allergen responsible for the allergy symptoms is important to guard against needless food restrictions & nutritional deficiencies especially in children. In general, the incidence of Food Allergy is higher in children although allergy to foods is also a frequent complaint of many adults.

In children, the most common six foods involved in food allergy are:

  • Eggs
  • Cow’s milk
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Peanut
  • Wheat.

In adults, the following four foods are also commonly involved in food allergy:

  • Seashells,
  • Tomatoes,
  • Strawberries, and
  • Tree nuts.

Food allergy is of special importance in infants and children and is seen after introducing infant formulas or when introducing solid foods, and usually presents as:

  • Colicy babies
  • Vomiting after introducing formula feeding
  • Difficulty in introducing new foods or drinks
  • Frequent change of formula and/or solid foods
  • Improvement with non dairy or amino acid formulas

Food allergy sufferers whether adults or children may complain of one or more of the following:

  • Skin symptoms such as itchy skin, hives, angioedema (giant hives), eczema and other rashes.
  • Respiratory symptoms are runny nose, spasm of the larynx, asthma, chronic cough and shortness of breath.
  • Digestive system complaints such as:
    • Itchy, sore or inflamed gums, cheeks or the whole mouth
    • Sore, inflamed or swollen tongue
    • Sore, inflamed or swollen throat with difficulty swallowing
    • Esophagus symptoms are soreness and difficulty swallowing felt in the middle of the chest
    • Stomach and intestine: symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, failure to thrive, and anemia.
  • The nervous system producing headaches, migraine and even seizures
  • The cardiovascular system causing Anaphylaxis (allergy shock).

Allergy skin test to foods is the preferred method for diagnosis of food allergy.  RAST test to foods (blood test), although can be useful in certain cases, its accuracy does not equal that of the skin test.
Ask our Dr. Fikria Hassan for more details about food allergy.

Dr. Fikria Hassan is our sub specialist in food allergy. In addition to her Board certification in the field of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (a specialist certified to take care of all allergic diseases of both adults and children), Dr. Fikria Hassan received additional training and postgraduate education in the fast developing field of Food Allergy. She served on many scientific panels and Committees on Food Allergy and attended innumerable National and International meetings with a focus on Food Allergy. Dr. Fikria Hassan is very active in research in the rapidly growing field of Food Allergy.