Friday, May 20, 2016

Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Food Allergies in Adults and Children

It is estimated that 15 million Americans suffer from some form of food allergy. This includes nearly one in every 13 children, reports Marla Ahlgrimm. Food allergies can be fatal and even with heightened precautions, complete avoidance cannot be guaranteed. In the following summary, Ahlgrimm touches on symptoms and risk factors of common food allergies.

Common allergens

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, soy, peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, and wheat are the eight foods most likely to cause an allergic reaction. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology explains that most allergies make themselves known during early childhood. However, adults are not immune to sudden allergic responses, even in foods they have consumed their entire lives.


Food allergy symptoms run the gamut from mild to severe, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Some people present with a mild stomach ache, hives, or general feeling of malaise while others experience a life-threatening response known as anaphylaxis. The latter can be fatal and must be treated with epinephrine via injection immediately. Other symptoms of allergic reaction include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue, and vertigo.

Risk factors

Food allergies are an equal opportunity health issue, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Neither gender nor ethnicity seem to play a role in who will develop an allergy over the course of a lifetime. However, those with a family history of allergic disease are more likely to suffer from food allergies. Ahlgrimm notes that children with food allergies are up to four times more likely to present with other related conditions such as asthma. Atopic dermatitis and other allergic conditions can also be triggered by food sensitivities.


A proper diagnosis is essential in order to manage food allergies, concludes Marla Ahlgrimm. Allergies cannot be cured, so an understanding what causes an adverse response is vital to maintaining quality of life. A board-certified allergist is the most qualified to diagnose specific food allergies.