Food allergies cause many puzzling and uncomfortable symptoms, and they can affect children and adults alike. Patients often wonder whether their issue is a food allergy or just a food sensitivity.
Food allergies impact about 32 million Americans. While most food allergies produce only mild to moderate symptoms, others lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis, also called anaphylactic shock. An allergy can become worse as a patient gets older, so it is in the interest of your health to know whether you are indeed allergic to a certain food.
If you are having a non-life-threatening event that seems like an allergic reaction, it is a good idea to head to your nearest urgent care center for an evaluation and possible food allergy testing. Let’s talk about food allergies, how allergy testing works, and where you can go in Garfield for efficient and effective treatment without an appointment.
What Are Food Allergies?
An allergy is when your body mistakenly interprets something to be a foreign invader, or germ. The body then creates an attack against the supposed invader, and this can cause anything from swelling to a rash as your body tries to “push out” the invader.
Many people have seasonal allergies to pollen, and patients can likewise have allergies to food. Common symptoms of food allergies include:
- Gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea)
- Skin rash
- Itchy skin
These allergy symptoms may stem from common food allergy triggers, such as:
- Dairy products
- Fish, especially shellfish
- Tree nuts
A doctor can perform a food allergy test to determine what is causing your allergic reaction.
Many allergists and immunologists recommend that people who suspect they may have a food allergy keep a food diary, noting any odd reactions within hours after meals. These details will help your doctor to determine what to test and what treatments may be appropriate.
How Does Food Allergy Testing Work?
Your physician will review your medical history first and also ask you about your symptoms. Be as specific as you can be about when the symptoms started, what they looked and felt like, and how long they lasted.
You will then likely have a physician-administered skin prick test. In this test, a small amount of various allergens are placed just under the skin. After some time has passed, the doctor will check to see if there are any skin reactions. A positive skin reaction typically resembles a mosquito bite.
Testing and Treatment for Food Allergies in Garfield, NJ
Food allergy treatment plans are highly individualized. Yours may include trigger-food avoidance, over-the-counter antihistamines, prescription allergy medication, or even allergy shots. Your food allergy testing and treatment at My Doc Urgent Care may involve the skin-prick test.
Just stop in. We are open seven days a week, and no appointment is needed. If you have any questions ahead of your visit, just call us at (862) 295-3501, and we will be happy to assist you. We look forward to serving you and your family!