Food Allergy Basics

So, you're allergic to a food. Now what?!

As many as 15 million Americans have a food allergy, including approximately 6 million children. The most common allergy-causing foods are peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.), milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. Recent studies showed that 3.3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, and 6.9 million are allergic to seafood.

A lot of kids have questions about food allergies. Here are some of the things they are asking:

Want to see what happens inside the body when a reaction occurs?

Check out our animation.

What are some of the symptoms of food allergy?

The most common symptom of a food-allergy reaction is hives. Other symptoms can include one or more of the following:

How can I treat these symptoms?

Your doctor will tell you what kind of medicine you need to take. Many prescribe an antihistamine, such as Benadryl®. If your reaction is severe, your doctor may prescribe epinephrine. It is available as an EpiPen® or Twinject®.

How can I prevent a reaction from happening?

Strictly avoiding the food that triggers your allergy is the only way to prevent a reaction. Check out our tips for how to stay safe.

Is there a cure for food allergy?

Currently, there is no cure for food allergies; however, the research being conducted looks promising!

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