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What is a Food Allergy? 

A food allergy happens when the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless food protein as a threat. It releases immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that trigger inflammatory chemicals like histamine. This causes allergy symptoms like hives, coughing, or anaphylaxis. Food allergies involve the immune system and tend to appear early in life. 

Food Allergy 101 – Everything you need to know

What Causes Food Allergies? 

  • Genetics – Higher risk if family members have allergies. 
  • Environment – Vitamin D deficiency, pollutants, hygiene hypothesis. 
  • Gut health – Dysbiosis from antibiotic use, microbiome imbalance. 
  • Digestion – Impaired digestive enzymes, leaky gut syndrome. 

What are the Newest Diagnostic Tests? 

  • Skin prick test – Prick skin with tiny amounts of allergens to check IgE reaction. 
  • Blood test – Measures allergen-specific IgE levels in blood. 
  • Oral food challenge – Eat small doses of allergen under medical supervision.
  • Component testing – Identify specific allergenic proteins, not whole foods. 

Food Allergy TEST

What are the Latest Food Allergy Treatments? 

  • Immunotherapy – Oral, sublingual, or epicutaneous exposure to gradually increase tolerance 
  • Anti-IgE therapy – Injection of antibodies that block IgE, raising reaction threshold 
  • Probiotics and prebiotics – Target gut microbiome by increasing good bacteria 
  • Chinese herbal formulae – Some formulae may regulate immune response. 

How Can Food Allergies be Managed? 

  • Read labels carefully to avoid allergens when cooking and dining out. This helps identify ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction. 
  • Carry epinephrine auto-injector in case of anaphylaxis. Having epinephrine on hand can treat severe allergic reactions quickly. 
  • Notify friends, family, and schools of allergies. Making others aware helps prevent exposure to problem foods. 
  • Create an allergen-free environment at home. Keeping the home free of allergen sources reduces risk of accidental exposure.
  • Get allergy IDs like a MedicAlert bracelet. Wearing identification alerts others to allergies in an emergency situation. 

Food Allergy 101

What are the Most Common Foods to Look Out For That Cause Allergens? 

  • Peanuts 
  • Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.) 
  • Milk 
  • Eggs 
  • Soy 
  • Wheat 
  • Fish 
  • Shellfish 
  • Sesame 
  • Mustard 
  • Sulfites 
  • Corn 
  • Gelatin 
  • Latex 
  • Bee pollen 
  • Strawberries 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant) 

Disclaimer Healthi and its associates offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. You should consult your physician or general practitioner before beginning a new fitness program. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician, general practitioner, or other qualified healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read in our publications or lectures. The use of information provided though the Healthi service is solely at your own risk and is not medical or healthcare advice. 


  • Sicherer, S.H. and Sampson, H.A., 2018. Food allergy: A review and update on epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and management. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 141(1), pp.41-58. 
  • Panesar, S.S., Javad, S., de Silva, D., Nwaru, B.I., Hickstein, L., Muraro, A., Roberts, G., Worm, M., Bilò, M.B. and Cardona, V., 2013. The epidemiology of anaphylaxis in Europe: a systematic review. Allergy, 68(11), pp.1353-1361. 
  • Muraro, A., Roberts, G., Worm, M., Bilò, M.B., Brockow, K., Fernández Rivas, M., Santos, A.F., Zolkipli, Z.Q., Bellou, A. and Beyer, K., 2014. Anaphylaxis: guidelines from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Allergy, 69(8), pp.1026-1045. 
  • Boyce, J.A., Assa’ad, A., Burks, A.W., Jones, S.M., Sampson, H.A., Wood, R.A., Plaut, M., Cooper, S.F., Fenton, M.J., Arshad, S.H. and Bahna, S.L., 2010. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 126(6), pp.S1-S58. 

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