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Have you ever had an unpleasant reaction to something you ate? Maybe your throat got a little itchy when you ate that kiwi or you broke out in hives after eating that handful of nuts. You may in fact have a food allergy, which is different from what is known as a ‘food intolerance’.
A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food that is triggered by the immune system. For example, being allergic to milk is not the same as not being able to digest milk properly due to being lactose intolerant. The immune system does not produce the symptoms of a food intolerance, even though symptoms of a food allergy may be similar.
There are eight foods that cause 90% of food allergies. They are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), soy, wheat (gluten, barley, rye, oats), fish and shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster). Other foods that produce allergies are corn, gelatin, meat, seeds (sesame, sunflower, poppy) and spices (garlic, mustard).
Allergic reactions to food can happen immediately or may take a few hours to occur. Symptoms vary and can be mild or severe. Some mild symptoms include red, swollen, dry, or itchy skin rash such as hives or eczema, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, dry cough, itchy mouth or inside ear, funny taste in mouth, upset stomach, cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Some severe symptoms include trouble breathing or swallowing, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, fatigue, passing out or chest pain.
Tiny amounts of a food can set off a reaction in a person who is highly allergic. Some people are able to eat small amounts of their trigger food if they are less sensitive.
Personalabs wants to provide you with the tools to control your food allergy. The first step is getting a simple food allergy blood test to confirm if you do in fact have an allergy. Finding out for sure can help you avoid allergic reactions in the future.
Disclaimer: Tests cannot be conducted at lab locations in New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
Personalabs is unable to offer testing for any person under the age of 18.