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F OOD A LLERGIES – HFA4C. D ISCUSSION What is a food allergy? Who gets a food allergy? Most common food allergies Symptoms How is it diagnosed? How can.

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Presentation on theme: "F OOD A LLERGIES – HFA4C. D ISCUSSION What is a food allergy? Who gets a food allergy? Most common food allergies Symptoms How is it diagnosed? How can."— Presentation transcript:


2 D ISCUSSION What is a food allergy? Who gets a food allergy? Most common food allergies Symptoms How is it diagnosed? How can you avoid food allergies? Tips to prevent allergies What to do if there is a reaction.

3 W HAT IS A FOOD ALLERGY ? An immune reaction that occurs after eating a certain food Also known as a food hypersensitivity Autoimmune disease Elicits an abnormal immune response to a harmless food substance Antibodies are released to fight the allergen Allergen is usually a protein

4 C LASSIFICATION OF A LLERGIES Allergic reactions are classified into non-IgE- mediated, IgE-mediated or mixed response Non-IgE Slower in onset, primarily gastrointestinal reactions IgE mediated Causes histamine and other chemicals to be released which trigger allergy symptoms Rapid in onset, symptoms include anaphylaxis & urticaria

5 S YMPTOMS Allergy symptoms can occur seconds to hours after ingestion of the allergen Most common symptoms: swelling, sneezing, nausea, GI distress Skin Swelling of lips, tongue & face Itchy eyes Hives Rash Respiratory Tract Itching or tightness of throat Shortness of breath Dry or raspy cough Runny nose wheezing Gastrointestinal Tract Abdominal pain Nausea Vomiting diarrhea


7 H OW ARE FOOD ALLERGIES DIAGNOSED ? Physician Medical history, physical exam Skin test Lab tests Oral food challenge Elimination diet Double-blind food challenge


9 F REQUENTLY ALLERGENIC FOODS Most common food allergies in young children: Milk (casein, whey) Eggs Wheat (gluten) Soy Peanuts Tree nuts Shellfish Most common food allergies in older children & adults Fish Shellfish Peanuts Tree nuts

10 F OOD A LLERGY VS F OOD I NTOLERANCE Reactions to food consist of a variety of reactions to food or food additive ingestion Usually not allergenic and caused by food intolerance Symptom-inducing food properties Metabolic disorders Bacterial food contamination

11 V ARIABILITY IN P REVALENCE Determination of the exact prevalence is difficult Considerable variation in data collection Self-reporting, physician assessment, skin tests, IgE levels However, self-reports indicate that food allergy incidences are on the rise Food allergy in infants are most common


13 W HO IS ALLERGIC ? About 3 to 8 percent of children have reaction Only 1 to 2 percent have true food allergies Children usually grow out of sensitivity by age 4 (not peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish) About 1 to 2 percent of adults

14 F OOD A LLERGIES PEANUT Milk Egg Tree Nuts Fish Shellfish Wheat Soy

15 P EANUT A LLERGY Peanut sensitization does not conclude an allergy About 95% of sensitized individuals are not clinically allergic Attracted the most attention because it is relatively common, typically permanent and often severe Significantly increased globally in the past decade 2-3x as common

16 P EANUT A LLERGY A GE OF I NTRODUCTION Sensitization to peanuts typically occurs at an early age, therefore such patients are more likely to react at first exposure No conclusive evidence has been found to support the theory that the allergy is developed in utero Food allergy manifests most commonly in infancy, peaking at 1 year of age and declining by age 3 Recommendations only in place for at-risk infants

17 N EW R ESEARCH Peanut allergies increasing Peanut exposure, in peanut butter, reduces severe reaction Peanut vaccine Link in food allergies and asthma Roasting peanuts may increase allergic properties FDA proposing a gluten-free label

18 M ILK A LLERGY 2.5% of children younger than 3 Develops in first year of life Most children will outgrow it Baby Formula Hidden Sources: deli meats, non dairy items, canned tuna fish, restaurant foods and sauces

19 E GG ALLERGY Affect approximately 1.5% of young children Likely to be outgrown Most allergic reactions associated with egg involve the skin Hidden sources: coffee drinks with foam topping, soft or hard pretzels, cooked pasta, egg substitutes. Vaccines

20 T REE NUT ALLERGY 1.8 million Americans Allergic are among the leading causes of fatal and near-fatal reactions to foods Tree nuts = walnuts, almond, hazelnuts, coconuts, cashews, pistachios, and Brazil nuts Tend to have a lifelong allergy Hidden sources: Salads and salad dressing, barbecue sauce, breading for chicken, pancakes, meat-free burgers, pasta, honey, fish dishes, pie crust, mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring), mortadella (may contain pistachios)

21 F ISH AND SHELLFISH ALLERGY 2.3% of Americans Salmon, tuna, and halibut Avoid all varieties Lifelong Avoid seafood restaurants Asian restaurants-fish sauce Read ingredient lists Avoid areas where fish is being handled or cooked Hidden Sources: Salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce, bouillabaisse, imitation fish or shellfish, meatloaf, barbecue sauce (some are made from Worcestershire)

22 W HEAT ALLERGY Common in children Often confused with celiac disease IgE-mediated response to wheat protein May tolerate other grains Symptoms range from mild to severe Sources: baked goods (wheat flour), pasta, sauces thickened with flour, cereals, crackers Substitute with amaranth, barley, corn, oat, quinoa, rice, rye, tapioca

23 S OY ALLERGY More common food allergies in babies and children Major ingredient in food products Hard to avoid Dietitian should be consulted Symptoms typically mild Hidden sources: baked goods, canned tuna, cereals, crackers, infant formulas, peanut butter, sauces, and soups. Typically can tolerate soybean oil

24 C AN SOME INDIVIDUALS BE ALLERGY - PRONE ? Patients reacting to greater numbers of allergenic epitopes experienced more severe allergic reactions & to smaller doses Children with egg &/or milk allergies more susceptible Peanut-allergic patients do not usually react to other legumes such as green beans, lima beans, navy beans 95% of peanut-allergic patients can tolerate soy

25 H IDDEN A LLERGENS Eggs – baked goods, noodles Milk – pies, cheese Soy – baked goods, candy, tv dinners Wheat – flours, soup mixes, snacks Peanut – candy, baked goods, ice cream Fish – seafood flavors New food labels should help


27 H OW A CHILD DESCRIBES A REACTION : Put hands to mouth, pull or scratch tongues, voices may change “Food is too spicy” “My tongue is hot, something is poking it” “My mouth is tingly, itches, or feels funny” “My tongue feels full, my throat feels thick”


29 C URING F OOD A LLERGIES There is currently no cure for food allergies The current recommendation is to avoid the allergen Promising treatments on the way

30 S UMMARY C OMMENTS Food allergy is an autoimmune response often mistaken for food intolerance Peanut allergy appears to be increasing Genetic, environmental and immunological influences Recent studies have led to improved diagnoses, management and patient education Numerous approaches to treatment are underway


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