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Food allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms. These usually begin just minutes after eating the problem food. Sometimes, however, symptoms may appear a few hours after eating.
Food allergy symptoms include:
Milder food allergy symptoms can often be treated with prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines.
If symptoms become more severe, you should seek emergency care immediately. These may be signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening situation that can lead to coma or death if left untreated.
You should seek emergency treatment immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
If you have been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector, you may need to use it if you begin to experience severe symptoms. Consider keeping this medication in your purse, briefcase, and/or work desk. Also, train friends and family on how to give the medication should you become unable to do so.
You should still seek emergency medical care after giving yourself an injection. If your reaction is especially severe, you may need further treatment. Getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible after an allergic reaction can help reduce your risk for adverse complications.
According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (AAAAI), those with asthma, those who have a family history of anaphylaxis, and those who have had a past episode are at greater risk for this severe reaction.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed on: Jul 21, 2014: George Krucik, MD, MBA
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