During the month of May, we want you to be aware of food allergies and how they can affect your health. It’s Food Allergy Action Month and we are encouraging Texans to take action and become better informed about the dangers of food allergies.
It is important that the public stay informed and read labels on the food they buy. If you or a family member suffers from a food allergy, this is especially important. Nearly 30,000 individuals within the United States make a trip to the emergency room each year to get treated for an allergic reaction to a food they have consumed.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy results when the immune system mistakenly targets a harmless food protein, also known as an allergen, as a threat and attacks it. A food allergy can cause serious risk to your body which is why awareness is incredibly important.
What are the symptoms of food allergy?
Here are a list of the most common symptoms:
• Hives, itching, or skin rash
• Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body
• Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
If the allergy becomes life-threatening, symptoms can include:
• Swelling of the throat making it difficult to breathe
• Wheezing or nasal congestion
• An extreme drop in blood pressure
• A rapid or irregular pulse
• Loss of consciousness
It is important to protect your family and know what food allergies could potentially be dangerous to you and them. If you suspect you or someone in your family might have a food allergy, please take the time to visit your primary care physician or an allergist to be evaluated, diagnosed and treated. For more information on diagnosis and testing of food allergies, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org/diagnosis-and-testing.
If you are concerned about a possible food allergy or any type of reaction to your body, or have any questions about poison, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas Poison Center Network for help 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222. If the allergic reaction is life-threatening, please call 9-1-1.