Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Associates: What are food allergies?

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A food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after you eat a certain food. Dr. Hannah Neuhaus, with Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Associates is excited to inform us more!

Hannah says food allergies can present in several different, but the one we most commonly think about is the immediate type of food allergy reaction. And in that situation, if a patient that’s allergic to food eats that particular food, they often can have symptoms within a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. These symptoms can include skin findings, such as hives or swelling.

According to Hannah, so there’s nine major food allergens.

Most common ones:

  • milk
  • egg
  • wheat
  • soy
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts
  • fish
  • shellfish

However, recently, sesame has come into play as the ninth major food allergen. Sesame can be found in sesame flour, tahini and hummus. It’s also in some baked goods, granola and sushi.

Sometimes allergens are hidden so it’s best to read the labels, says Hannah. She said there were acts that require the labeling of those nine major food allergens. So for example, if it has flour in the ingredient list, then in parentheses it’ll have to say wheat.

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