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Food Allergies: what to do if symptoms occur

The appearance of symptoms after eating food may be a sign of a food allergy. The food(s) that caused these symptoms should be avoided, and the affected person, should contact a doctor or health care provider for appropriate testing and evaluation.

  • Persons found to have a food allergy should learn to read labels and avoid the offending foods. They should also learn, in case of accidental ingestion, to recognize the early symptoms of an allergic reaction, and be properly educated on — and armed with — appropriate treatment measures.

  • Persons with a known food allergy who begin experiencing symptoms while, or after, eating a food should initiate treatment immediately, and go to a nearby emergency room if symptoms progress.

Symptoms of food allergies

Symptoms of food allergies typically appear from within a few minutes to two hours after a person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic.

Allergic reactions can include:

  • Hives
  • Flushed skin or rash
  • Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
  • Face, tongue, or lip swelling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
  • Swelling of the throat and vocal cords
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

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