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Fairfield, CT
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Food Allergy refers to a specific type of syndrome caused by certain foods that is mediated by allergy causing antibodies. Many adverse reactions to foods not caused by allergy are due to inability to digest certain components like lactose or gluten, the presence of toxins due to improper handling, or bacterial contamination.

The first step in treatment requires precise diagnosis. This is quickly accomplished by scratch testing the skin with fresh food extracts. Once the offending foods are identified, the mainstay of treatment is avoidance. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network is an excellent source of information about hidden sources of the foods that may be causing your allergies. It also offers alternative recipes for cooking without eggs, milk, wheat, soy and peanuts.

For allergic reactions causing throat swelling, hives or respiratory difficulty, one should always carry an epinephrine syringe for emergency treatment if food is accidentally ingested. An Epi-pen should only be used for life-threatening allergic reactions. These are reactions that cause swelling of the throat and block the airway, and can be accompanied by wheezing, shortness of breath, low blood pressure and collapse.

Allergen immunotherapy is dangerous and ineffective for food allergy. New treatment on the horizon includes a medication that removes the food-allergy causing antibodies from the body, but this is still in the early clinical trial stage. IgG antibodies to food are of uncertain significance. Most authorities feel these antibodies are not pathogenic.