Food allergy is an over-sensitivity / increased sensitivity to a particular food protein such as milk, egg or nut.
Exposure to the allergen causes the release of chemicals in the body that can cause unpleasant and potentially harmful effects.
The most severe form is known as anaphylaxis which can be life threatening. Some types of food allergy (often referred to as delayed or non-IgE mediated) are also called as food intolerances
The most common food allergy is to
Common symptoms of food allergy include:
In more severe cases, they can cause
A careful, detailed clinical history taken by an experienced physician coupled with allergy tests such as skin prick testing, specific IgE blood testing or provocation challenges remains the most reliable way to reach a diagnosis or exclude allergy as the cause of the problems.
Standard advice in the NHS is to avoid food allergens, there is also another approach known as desensitisation or OIT (Oral Induction of Tolerance) depending on the allergen
Once there is a clear diagnosis we can discuss the options – whether avoidance or desensitisation and consider together which may be the best option in an individual case