You can have a food allergy, and eat it too

November 08, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD. (November 8, 2013) - Have food allergies? If you answered yes, you know the best way to prevent a severe allergic reaction is to totally avoid the offending food. But according to a presentation at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), you may no longer have to avoid the food entirely.

"Different parts of food may have different allergenicity," said presenter Sami Bahna, MD, allergist and ACAAI past president. "For example, someone with an egg allergy may be able to tolerate egg yolk but not the whites. And someone with a fruit allergy may be allergic to the seeds but not the pulp."

In his presentation, Dr. Bahna noted not only can certain parts of food be safe to eat for some food allergy sufferers, but there are some substitutes that can be eaten as well.

"Just because someone is allergic to cow's milk, doesn't mean they are allergic to milk from all other animals," said Dr. Bahna. "Some sufferers might have to avoid several foods, which can be difficult and cause malnutrition. But there are substitutes that can be eaten without any side effects."

Some food sensitivities may also predict other food allergies. Different types of fruits and fish can often have substantial cross-reactivity, meaning there may be several types that need to be avoided.

Rosaceae fruits, which include apple, apricot, almond, peach, pear, plum and strawberry, showcase this cross-reactivity. Crustaceans, such as shrimp and lobster, or molluscs like clam and squid can also have this cross-reactivity. But it's more unlikely that someone allergic to shrimp is also allergic to squid.

"While many food allergic individuals find they can eat certain parts of food or substitutes, this isn't a one size fits all approach," said Dr. Bahna. "Allergy manifests in everyone differently. If you have a food allergy, evaluation by a board-certified allergist can identify the exact foods that you should avoid and the substitute foods that you can safely eat."

Allergy skin testing or blood testing are good screening procedures for food allergy. Allergists often confirm the suspected foods by performing oral food challenges. During this test, patients are fed tiny amounts of the suspected allergy-causing food in increasing doses under strict supervision by an allergist.

Although there is no cure for food allergies at present, some sufferers may outgrow their allergy over time. Milk allergy is commonly outgrown in childhood, while a peanut or shellfish allergy usually lasts for many years or for a lifetime.
-end-
For more information about food allergies, and to locate an allergist, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

The ACAAI Annual Meeting is being held Nov. 7-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore. For more news and research being presented at the meeting, follow the conversation on Twitter #ACAAI.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 5,700 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Related Food Allergies Articles from Brightsurf:

Food allergies take a greater emotional toll on Asian families
A new study being presented at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the impact on food allergy quality of life (FAQOL) for Asian patients and their parents is significantly higher than for other races.

Asthma and food allergies during childhood associated with increased risk of IBS
Those with IBS at 16 were almost twice as likely to have had asthma at the age of 12 (11.2% vs 6.7%).

Therapy helps children with food allergies manage severe anxiety
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has launched the Food Allergy Bravery (FAB) Clinic to help children with a phobia of anaphylaxis.

New pill could prevent anaphylaxis in people with food, drug allergies
For someone with a food or drug allergy, the risk of life-threatening anaphylactic shock lurks around every corner.

Territorial short food supply chains foster food democracy and sustainability
A University of Cordoba study analyzed the governance mechanisms in territorial short food supply chains in Córdoba and Bogotá.

Drinking green tea may help with food allergies
Drinking green tea increases Flavonifractor plautii in the gut, which in turn suppresses an allergic food immune response.

Children with food protein-induced enterocolitis more likely to have other allergies
Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that children with a rare food allergy known as food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, or FPIES, have a significantly higher chance of being diagnosed with other allergic conditions, including eczema, traditional food allergy and asthma.

Children with food allergies seen faster under new paediatric model
Children with food allergies are seen 10 months sooner and have fewer allergic reactions when treated by a paediatrician in their own community, a new study shows.

Introducing peanuts and eggs early can prevent food allergies in high risk infants
Research undertaken by King's College London and St George's, University of London has found that introducing certain foods early to infants can prevent them from developing an allergy despite low adherence to an introduction regime.

Social media alternative facts on food allergies can negatively impact medical decisions
Social media misinformation has a negative impact on medical decisions made by people with food allergies.

Read More: Food Allergies News and Food Allergies Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.