Food Allergy

There are a number of conditions that have similar symptoms to food allergy. This makes the diaganosis of food allergy complicated.

Peanut allergy

Some food allergies, such as peanut allergy, produce immediate reactions. People with such an allergy usually have an allergic reaction within seconds of their mouth and throat coming into contact with the allergen.

These include swelling of the lips, skin or tongue, which can then be followed by swelling of the throat. Such an effect can make breathing difficult, cause a hoarse or altered voice, and cause coughing or the feeling of something stuck in the throat.

Delayed reactions to peanuts can occur but most will have developed within an hour. In delayed reactions there is always a reliable and reproducible effect.

An appointment with South West Allergy will confirm a diagnosis and put in place a management plan in the event of a subsequent attack. At present, treament is not an option, except as part of a clinical trial.

Other food allergies

Other food allergies can produce a more delayed reaction. These can include:

  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Rash or redness;
  • Urticaria or hives;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness.

Some people with food allergies will have mild symptoms. They can have any of the above in a milder form or can simply have a worsening of existing asthma or eczema.

It becomes hard to establish a food allergy when there are symptoms such as bloating, change in bowel habit, lethargy, fatigue, hyperactivity and mood changes. If a patient has only these symptoms without any of the classic food allergy symptoms, then a consultation is more likely to result in the probable exclusion of a food allergy based on expert opinion.

Blood and skin tests are often used in allergy diagnosis. Unfortunately, no blood or skin test is able to completely exclude a food allergy.