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Allergies

Food allergy

Once a particular food trigger is established as a cause for food allergy, the patient is advised to avoid the particular food, both in the raw and cooked form, to read food labels carefully to avoid accidental ingestion of the culprit food, and to carry antihistamines. Some patients who have had anaphylaxis with food ingestion, and have asthma or cannot avoid the food trigger easily may be prescribed an adrenaline auto injector.

Oral allergy syndrome (Pollen food syndrome)

Some patients develop symptoms only of tingling, itching or mild swelling of the lips, or swelling in the mouth or throat, immediately or soon after eating certain foods like fruits, vegetables or some nuts. Symptoms occur to raw foods; usually the patients are alright eating the same food item in the cooked or tinned form. Oral allergy syndrome is caused by cross-reactivity between common proteins present in the fruits, vegetables and nuts and inhaled allergens present in pollen, hence this condition is also called pollen food syndrome. Patients often will give history of suffering from hay fever. Symptoms last for a short while and are usually mild. Patients usually do not get symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Diagnosis of oral allergy syndrome can be made by taking a careful history together with doing blood test or skin prick test to the suspect food. Newer blood tests may help in distinguishing oral allergy syndrome from more severe food allergy (see allergy tests).

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