Insight Allergy & Immunology – Food allergies are adverse immune reactions triggered by specific foods such as nuts, eggs, milk, and wheat. Researchers estimate that at least 20 million people in the United States have food allergies, which can range from mild to severe. The body’s immune system response to an allergen can lead to itching, swelling, hives, respiratory issues, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis in severe cases. Food allergies can develop at any age, but they are more common in children. It is also possible to outgrow food allergies over time.

Determining if you have food allergies involves a combination of observation and professional evaluation. The following tips can help you understand if you may be experiencing food allergies. However, it is important to always take food allergies seriously and avoid self-diagnosis. If you suspect you may have a food allergy, visit an allergy specialist as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis and discuss the best treatment options for your symptoms.

5 Tips for Determining If You Have Food Allergies

Familiarize Yourself with Common Symptoms

Understanding the common symptoms of an allergy is one of the best ways to identify suspected allergies and seek early treatment. Symptoms of food allergies vary widely and may affect people differently. Skin and respiratory symptoms are most common, but it is also possible to experience gastrointestinal issues, itching and tingling in the mouth or throat, and swelling near the face. It is also important for parents and caregivers to be aware of allergic reactions in children, as they are not always able to communicate symptoms effectively.

Keep a Food Diary

Another great way to get to the bottom of a suspected food allergy is keeping a food diary. Note everything you eat or drink and any symptoms you experience afterward for a period of a few weeks. This will allow you and your healthcare provider to identify potential patterns with certain foods and take appropriate next steps for diagnosis and treatment.

Try Eliminating Foods From Your Diet

With the information you have available from your food diary and guidance from your physician, an elimination diet can be an effective way to confirm that a particular food/allergen is causing your symptoms. This process usually takes place over several weeks and may also include reintroduction of certain foods to your diet to pinpoint specific foods that are triggering your symptoms. Again, this should always be done under the direction of a healthcare professional who can provide recommendations and ensure the approach is safe and effective.

Consider Family History

Family history can play a significant role in determining if you are at risk for a particular food allergy. If you have close relatives such as parents or siblings with food allergies, you may have a higher likelihood of experiencing this allergy yourself. Family dietary habits and feeding practices can also influence the development of allergies in children. Parents or caregivers who have allergies are often cautious about introducing certain foods to their children, which can delay or alter the child’s immune responses to these foods. Understanding your family history will help your physician in determining allergies to consider during the diagnosis process and tailoring treatments to your individual circumstances.

Consult an Allergy Specialist

If you suspect you have food allergies, an allergy specialist is the best way to diagnose your allergies accurately and provide guidance on managing them. This is often done through skin prick testing, blood testing, and oral food challenges where you consume small amounts of an allergen to see if it triggers a reaction.

Determining if you have food allergies often involves a combination of being aware of symptoms, observation, and professional medical evaluation. Even when not severe, food allergies can affect a person’s quality of life and health. If you suspect you have food allergies, it is recommended you make an appointment with an allergist or immunologist who specializes in treating food allergies. Insight Allergy & Immunology is currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.


Q: How are food allergies diagnosed?

A: Food allergies are typically diagnosed by assessing a patient’s medical history, a physical examination, and various allergy testing such as skin prick tests and blood tests.

Q: Is there a difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

A: Yes. A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to certain foods. Food intolerance usually involves digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Q: What treatment options are available for food allergies?

A: Although food allergies cannot be cured, there are a number of effective ways to treat symptoms. This includes avoiding certain foods, oral therapy, allergy shots, and medications such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.