an assortment of different foods laid out on a tableYour immune system protects your body from harmful invaders. It does this by recognizing a molecule as a threat and releases chemicals to combat the issue. However, what happens if your body misidentifies the threat? You will likely experience an allergic reaction. Discover several frequently asked questions about food allergies.

What’s the difference between a food allergy versus an intolerance?

The biggest difference between a food allergy versus an intolerance is what system in the body is responding negatively. Food allergy symptoms occur because the immune system is misidentifying the particle, and food intolerance symptoms occur because the digestive symptom is not tolerating the food.

Can an allergic reaction occur if I touch the food?

Yes, if you touch a food that you’re highly allergic to, you may experience food allergy symptoms. However, the symptoms will likely be topical and not severe such as a red, itchy rash at the site. Washing your hands with warm water and soap should eliminate the food particles which will stop the allergic reaction from occurring.

Can adults develop food allergies?

Adults can develop food allergies but it’s not as common as a child developing food allergies. If you are diagnosed with an allergy beyond your adolescent years, there’s a high probability that it will be from shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and fish. If you’re having abnormal symptoms after eating a certain food, talk to Dr. Brauer today.

What should I do if I suspect food allergies?

If you suspect food allergies, you should get tested by an allergist. Often, self-diagnosis is not accurate and can lead to worsening symptoms. When you visit Dr. Brauer, she can perform a skin test to determine which food you’re allergic to. This is a painless procedure that gives very accurate results!

Next month, we will discuss food allergies in children and what you should do if your child has a food allergy. Until then, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brauer!