Food Allergies in Tulsa, OK
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What are food allergies?
Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system makes a mistake and identifies a harmless food protein as a dangerous substance. Your body goes into defense mode, causing your immune system to generate an unusually large amount of IgE antibodies. They attack and then release histamine and other chemicals in their attack against the false allergen. Food sensitivities are similar to food allergies, but there are some key differences.
A gastroenterologist at one of our Adult Gastroenterology Associates locations can perform tests to help you identify the foods that cause your allergic reaction. Contact your nearest Tulsa, OK location to request a consultation.
What causes food allergies?
Any type of food could cause a food allergy. However, there are eight common allergens that account for the majority of food allergies:
- Tree nuts – almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and walnuts
- Shellfish – shrimp, crab, crawfish, crawdads, crayfish, lobster, and prawns
It's possible you may outgrow allergies in adulthood. It's somewhat common for adults who had allergies to eggs, soy, wheat, or milk as a child to outgrow the allergy in adulthood. If you think you or a loved one is suffering from a food allergy, request a consultation at one of our locations today.
How can food allergies be diagnosed?
Food allergies are best assessed by a GI provider. Our team may recommend additional food allergy testing to confirm your allergen, like:
- Blood test: Tests for the antibodies that trigger allergy symptoms
- Food elimination diet: A short (typically 2 – 4 weeks) period where the food in question is either eliminated from your diet or gradually removed from your diet while symptoms are monitored.
- Skin prick test (SPT): This test is usually performed in a provider’s office, and can provide results in about 30 minutes. A small amount of the food allergen is placed on the back or forearm. The provider then gently pricks or scratches the skin surface to see if a reaction occurs.
- Food challenge: The patient is fed a small amount of the food in question in steadily increased doses to test for a reaction. The test is done in a controlled medical environment to allow any reaction to be immediately treated.
If you experience an allergic reaction from food, it is important to identify the cause of the reaction. Request a consultation with a GI specialist in Tulsa, OK to take the first step in identifying your food allergy.
What treatments are available for food allergies?
Food allergies cannot be cured. However, there are ways to treat allergic reactions and manage them so that you can enjoy a normal lifestyle. Mild symptoms can be treated using medicine, including:
- Topical steroids
- Oral steroids
- Injectors (EpiPen™)
Our GI providers will be able to assess the best treatment option for you. They may help you create a management plan to use in case of an emergency. A management plan could include the following:
- Wearing a medical alert ID
- Taking medication as soon as a reaction happens
- Having medication to treat the reaction with you at all times
- Reading food labels carefully to avoid touching or ingesting your allergen
Our team at Adult Gastroenterology Associates is dedicated to helping you create an emergency plan so your food allergy doesn’t hold you back.
Identifying and treating your food allergy
Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK is dedicated to helping you identify, prevent, and treat your food allergy. Food allergies can cause more serious GI conditions over time. If you are experiencing concerning symptoms and want to know what is causing them or how to treat them, request a consultation with a GI provider today.
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