Can Adults Develop Food Allergies?

food allergies

Most food allergies develop in childhood, but adult-onset food allergies are becoming increasingly common as well, among the estimated 15 million Americans dealing with the condition.

Food allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a food protein.  Currently there’s no FDA approved cure, and the best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the food you’re allergic to. If you or anyone in your family — adults or children — is having symptoms of a food allergy, count on allergy specialist Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

From her Redondo Beach, California, practice, Dr. Ziegner treats adults and children with asthma and other allergic conditions, including food allergies. If you suspect that you’ve developed a food allergy, Dr. Ziegner provides a thorough evaluation and diagnostic testing to get the answers you need. Here’s what you should know about adult-onset allergies:

Adult-onset food allergies

Eight foods, often referred to as the “big 8” — milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans — are responsible for 90% of food allergies in adults and children. Five of these foods are most commonly seen in adult-onset food allergies:

Shellfish and tree nuts, known to cause the most serious allergic reactions,  are by far the most common triggers of adult-onset food allergies. Shellfish account for more than 50%, while tree nuts are responsible for more than 40%. Food allergy to sesame is on the rise as well.

Adult-onset food allergy symptoms

The symptoms of a food allergy are the same in adult-onset as in childhood. Look out for:

Seek emergency assistance if you experience signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction, including shortness of breath, fainting, swelling of throat, lips and face .

Getting answers

To help determine which foods you’re allergic to, Dr. Ziegner find the answer:

Skin prick testing is the preferred method of diagnosing food allergies. However, Dr. Ziegner may order some lab tests in certain cases. This test measures the amount of allergy causing antibodies to specific foods. Either method can help rule in or rule out allergies to certain foods.

Food allergy treatment.

If Dr. Ziegner discovers that you have a food allergy, it’s important to avoid that food altogether because of the risk of severe, even life-threatening reactions.  However, accidental exposures to food allergens are not uncommon.

Adults who develop food allergies must read food labels and take extra steps when dining out to avoid the offending food. Once you’re made aware of the foods you’re allergic to, you can create a dietary plan to avoid them.

Most importantly, once diagnosed with a food allergy, it is extremely important to have access to epinephrine autoinjectors at all times.  Dr Ziegner will train you when and how to use this life-saving medicine.

There’s no need to struggle with food allergies. Call our Redondo Beach office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ziegner, or book it online to get the answers you need.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Treatment for Your Hay Fever

Seasonal allergies are more than a mere annoyance. The sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes can make it difficult to go about your day. Fortunately, treatment is available that can provide much needed relief.

Does My Shortness of Breath Mean That I Have Asthma?

An asthma attack can feel frightening, but how do you know if asthma is responsible for your breathlessness? If you’re undiagnosed, scheduling a visit to a specialist is the best way to get to the root of your shortness of breath.

Help for Your Child’s Allergies

Parenthood comes with its fair share of challenges, like finding out your child has allergies. What can you do? A visit to an expert allergist provides the knowledge, guidance and support you need to successfully manage your child’s allergies.

Recognizing Adult-Onset Asthma

Receiving an asthma diagnosis for the first time in adulthood can come as a surprise. Learning about your condition and how to manage it can help you feel better and preserve lung function. Read on to learn the signs of adult-onset asthma.

Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis

When you develop a skin rash, you might suspect it’s the result of an allergy. An allergic reaction is one type of contact dermatitis, yes, but it’s not the only one. Having your skin evaluated by an expert is key to getting the best treatment.