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Food allergy: Diagnosis and treatment

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Immunoglobulin E‐mediated food reactions usually develop within minutes of food ingestion. Although most reactions are not life-threatening, fatalities do occur. Risk factors for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis include the presence of asthma (a risk factor for anaphylaxis in general), failure to use epinephrine autoinjectors promptly, a history of severe reactions, known food allergy, denial of symptoms, and adolescent and young adult age. The most commonly implicated foods are cow's milk, egg, peanut, soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and wheat. Peanut, tree nuts, and seafood are the most common food allergens in adults, whereas cow's milk, peanut, egg, soy, and wheat are more common in children. The major food allergens are glycoproteins, which are generally water soluble and stable to the effects of heat, proteases, and acids. Recent studies showed that natural tolerance can be acquired at a later age than previously thought, even during adolescence. Allergies to peanut, tree nuts, and seafood are frequently life-long. Patients and their caregivers should be taught when and how to administer injectable epinephrine. In terms of primary prevention, there is evidence that early introduction, followed by ongoing regular consumption of peanut has a protective effect on the development of peanut allergy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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