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Food Allergy

Food Allergy

A food allergy is when your body reacts to a food in a way that is not normal. The reaction can be gentle or very bad.

Signs of a Gentle Reaction

  • Stuffy nose.

  • Tingling in the mouth.

  • An itchy, red rash.

  • Throwing up (vomiting).

  • Watery poop (diarrhea).

Signs of a Very Bad Reaction

  • Puffiness (swelling). This may be on the lips, face, or tongue, or in the mouth or throat.

  • Breathing loudly (wheezing).

  • A hoarse voice.

  • Itchy, red, swollen areas of skin (hives).

  • Dizziness or light-headedness.

  • Fainting.

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.

  • A tight feeling in the chest.

  • A very fast heartbeat.

HOME CARE

General Instructions

  • Avoid the foods that you are allergic to.

  • Read food labels. Look for ingredients that you are allergic to.

  • When you are at a restaurant, tell your server that you have an allergy. Ask if your meal has an ingredient that you are allergic to.

  • Take medicines only as told by your doctor. Do not drive until the medicine has worn off, unless your doctor says it is okay.

  • Tell all people who care for you that you have a food allergy. This includes your doctor and dentist.

  • If you think that you might be allergic to something else, talk with your doctor. Do not eat a food to see if you are allergic to it without talking with your doctor first.

If you have a very bad allergy:

  • Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you have an allergy.

  • Carry your allergy kit (anaphylaxis kit) or an allergy shot (epinephrine injection) with you all the time. Use them as told by your doctor.

  • Make sure that you, your family, and your boss know:

  • How to use your allergy kit.

  • How to give you an allergy shot.

  • If you use the medicine epinephrine:

  • Get more right away in case you have another reaction.

  • Get help. You can have a life-threatening reaction after taking the medicine.

If you are being tested for an allergy:

  • Follow a diet as told by your doctor.

  • Keep a food diary as told by your doctor. Every day, write down:

  • What you eat and drink and when.

  • What problems you have and when.

GET HELP IF:

  • The signs of your reaction have not gone away within 2 days.

  • The signs of your reaction get worse.

  • You have a new signs of a reaction.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You use the medicine epinephrine.

  • You are having a very bad reaction. Signs of a very bad reaction are:

  • Puffiness. This may be on the lips, face, or tongue, or in the mouth or throat.

  • Breathing loudly.

  • A hoarse voice.

  • Itchy, red swollen areas of skin.

  • Dizziness or light-headedness.

  • Fainting.

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.

  • A tight feeling in the chest.

  • A very fast heartbeat.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.