MedSpring Viewpoints

Can You Get Food Allergies Later in Life? And Other Top Allergy Questions

Selection of allergy food

Welcome to May, AKA food allergy month.  You might be experiencing unpleasant symptoms post meal or are just curious about food allergies, so we’re here to tackle some of the most common food allergy questions we get:

1. Can you get food allergies later in life as an adult?

Unfortunately, yes, you can suddenly develop food allergies as an adult.  Doctors aren’t able to pinpoint why you might get food allergies for the first time as an adult since they most commonly develop in childhood.

2. What are common foods that suddenly cause a reaction in adults?

  • Peanuts
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans

3. Can you lose food allergies?

Yes; just like developing allergies as an adult, it’s not uncommon for a child to outgrow their food allergy.  (They might even then get the allergy back as an adult.  #fullcircle)

4. When do allergies develop?

As you might guess from the previous questions, food allergies can develop in childhood or adulthood; there’s no limit or predictability to when you can develop allergies.

5. What are the different symptoms of a food allergy?

Often times, you can diagnose a food allergy yourself.  Symptoms can include:

  • An itchy or tingly mouth
  • Hives, itching or eczema
  • Swelling anywhere on the face or body
  • Issues breathing (wheezing, nasal congestion)
  • Abdominal or digestive complaints (pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting)
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

6. What’s the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

Most unpleasant reactions to food are simply a food intolerance, not a food allergy.  A food allergy affects multiple organs, causing a range of symptoms, and could even be life threatening.  With a food intolerance, you could consume small portions of the food without reaction or prevent a reaction; with an allergy, you cannot prevent a reaction.

Food intolerances could be caused by IBS, Celiac’s disease, stress, or other sensitivities.

7. Do allergy shots work for food allergies?

No.  They work best for “allergies to bee stings, pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet dander.”

MedSpring is open late and on weekends if you ever have any concerning symptoms, food-related or not.  It’s always best to get checked out anytime you have a concern.

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