Fredericksburg Parent

January 2016

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14 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • January 2016 Ask the Expert a sk t h e e x p e rt Q: What are the signs of a food allergy? Symptoms differ from person to person, can range from mild to severe, and a per- son can have different symptoms each time he or she has an allergic reaction. Food aller- gies can cause rashes, such as hives and eczema; stomach problems, such as diarrhea; and in severe cases anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. Most allergic reactions happen within [a few] minutes to a few hours after eating, or rarely, touching the food. Q: What are the most common food allergies? In children, the most common food allergies are milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanut and tree nuts. In older children and adults, shellfish and fish are additional allergens. Q: Are food allergies becoming more common? We hear about them so often now in the news. There appears to be an increased incidence of allergies in general, including food allergies. However, many reactions that are called allergic by the general public are not truly food allergies. As we understand more about the way food can cause problems, we are able to differentiate and diagnose true food allergies more readily and more accurately. Q: What are the differences between a food allergy, food sensitivity and food intolerance? A food allergy is an immune response to a food. In other words, an allergic antibody (IgE) is formed and directed against various proteins of the food. The allergic antibody is attached to allergy cells in the body that contain products such as histamine (and many others) that are released when the allergy antibody comes in Do you know the difference between a food allergy and food sensitivity? Do you know what to do if you see someone having an anaphylactic reaction? These are just a few of the important questions we asked Drs. Mozena, Posthumus, Wilson and Wenger of Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg. INTERVIEWED BY BRENDA SAPANGHILA Most Common Food allergies In Older Children and Adults In Children Shellfi sh and fi sh Milk Soy Wheat Egg Peanut Wheat Tree Nuts Soy Peanut

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