Our mission is to provide patient-centered care for allergies and asthma.

Are My Food Allergies Getting Worse?

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 3% of adults have a food allergy. Food allergies are immune system reactions that occur when eating certain foods. Nuts and shellfish are the most common foods that trigger a reaction. An allergic reaction to food can cause a range of symptoms such as hives, swollen airways, or digestive problems. More serious reactions include anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

Common Food Allergy Symptoms

Allergic reactions from food typically happen within minutes of eating the food but can take up to two hours. Signs to be aware of include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Hives, itching, or eczema
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat or other parts of the body
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting

The most severe reaction, known as anaphylaxis, affects the whole body, causing life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:

  • Constriction and tightening of the airways
  • A swollen throat or the sensation of a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness

Food Allergies vs Food Intolerance

Your symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary between each food. A reaction to one type of food may be mild, while another could be severe. This does not mean that your food allergies are getting worse. It is simply due to the fact that allergic reactions to foods are very unpredictable.

In some cases, an individual may have a food intolerance instead of a food allergy. The two share symptoms so it can be easy to confuse them. However, food intolerance reactions are generally less serious and often only result in digestive problems. With food intolerance, individuals may even be able to eat a small amount of the food and have no problem at all.

Food allergies, on the other hand, cause the body to produce an antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) when individuals consume certain foods. IgE then defends the body from the perceived threat, releasing histamine and other chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction. A food intolerance, in contrast, does not have any connection to the immune system.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Food Allergies

When a doctor performs a food allergy diagnosis, they may ask for a family history of allergies as well as a detailed history of your symptoms. They may also perform tests to determine what you’re allergic to. These tests can include:

  • A skin prick test, in which a small amount of the suspected food allergen is placed on the skin.
  • A blood test, which measures the immune system’s release of IgE in relation to a food.
  • An elimination diet, which eliminates foods before adding them back one at a time to see if specific symptoms can be linked to specific foods.
  • An oral food challenge, to determine how much of the food can be eaten before a reaction occurs.

The only way to stop any food allergy completely is to eliminate the food from your diet or seek treatment from an allergist who performs food desensitization. If you have exposure to the food and experience a mild reaction, such as hives or itching, an over-the-counter antihistamine may help. A more severe reaction may require an emergency injection of epinephrine and an emergency room visit.

At Columbia Allergy, we are experts in the treatment of food allergies. In fact, we were the first food allergy specialists to desensitize patients to certain types of nuts and shellfish. Our providers are here to help with a patient-focused approach. Contact us at any of our convenient locations in California, Oregon, Idaho, or Washington to learn more.

This is not medical advice. If you’re concerned that you may have allergies or asthma, please consult a medical professional.

Do You Suffer From Allergies?

Don’t let allergies run your life. Talk to a Columbia Allergy clinic today to find relief.

Monica H.
“First time at allergy specialist they really care about my kids lifestyle they care more about their patients that their wallet. Now days that's a keeper. ”
David W.
“Adam and the staff were great at considering my concerns, explaining my results and listening to my questions. Plus everyone was on time and things moved swiftly. ”
Prashant S.
“Absolutely exceptional. The doctor, team and facilities are the best you could ask for. We have never felt more comfortable and safe. With the approach we have taken with our son and has made the whole process so much easier. You guys makes difference in people’s lives”
Noah J.
“Nothing worse than worrying about every cookie and ice cream snack out there that sends us to the ER. Dr.Jain and Dr. Gandhe who are the best. Their expertise and kindness have given us back both dessert and peace of mind. I don't know which one is more appreciated. ”
Hana L.
"Dr.Gandhe always puts my son at ease before treatment. She talks to him directly and in an age appropriate way. My son looks forward to visiting her and the other staff. When I have questions about treatment she responds clearly and, during after hours, Dr. Gandhe responds very quickly. We feel well cared for."
Amy M.
"Dr. Gandhe gives us excellent personalized treatment for my son’s peanut and tree nut allergy. She has a heart for kids with allergies and I feel very safe under her care. My son has already made great progress with his tree nut allergy"
Nikko Y.
"Best Office Ever!"
Georgia B.
"One of the best doctors + staff I have ever met. The care and professionalism is out of this world! We feel comforted and safe at our visit "
Pierre
"Dr. Jain is very kind and friendly as well as the staff "
Graciela R.
"Dr.Jain and Melissa Hutton PA-C are the best allergy providers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The entire staff is kind and helpful. My allergy care is comprehensive and I never feel rushed through an appointment-"
Miko
"Best decision we have made in my son’s life so far"
Merritt F.
"We are very confident with Dr. Jain’s treatment plans and recommendations. The staff at the Fremont office is amazing"
Cherylyn V.
"Amazing and awesome team for scary and life-threatening allergies"
Manalie J.
"Dr.Gandhe is very patient, explains everything in great detail and answered all of our questions. It helped to ease out our Anxiety about OIT"
Walter M.
"Dr. Gandhe is great, thoughtful, and a caring provider. All staff is fantastic as well!"
Sarah S.
"We are likely (5 stars) to recommend Dr. Jain to friends and family. Our experience here has been so positive and supportive. It is great clinic and has given us great hopes in treating our son"
Khushi P.
"Extremely great experience. Truly God sent figures. Dr. Jain and Melissa are such wonderful and humble doctors, I have ever met. Thank You. Dr Jain and the entire staff for being with us through the journey. I will recommend him to all the people that I know with allergies
Amrita M.
"Dr. Gandhe has been more than a blessing for us. We love her! She’s so great at talking explaining and planning everything. Her treatment has been spot on and I am so thankful we found you. We love all the nurses, they are so patient and loving"
Translate »