The symptoms of a food allergy almost always develop afew seconds or minutes after eating the food.
Some people may develop a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life threatening.
Themost common type ofallergic reaction to food is known as an IgE-mediated food allergy.
The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can be sudden and get worse very quickly.
Initial symptoms of anaphylaxis are often the same as those listed above and can lead to:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Without quick treatment, it can be life threatening. If you think you or someone you know is experiencing anaphylaxis, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance as soon as possible.
Another type ofallergic reaction is a non-IgE-mediated food allergy. The symptoms of this type of allergy cantake much longer to develop sometimesup to several days.
Some symptoms of a non IgE-mediated food allergymay be what you would expect to see in an allergic reaction, such as:
Other symptoms can be much less obvious and are sometimes thought of as being caused by something other than an allergy. They include:
Some children can have a mixed reaction where they experience both IgE symptoms, such as swelling, and non-IgE symptoms, such as constipation.
This can happen to children who have a milk allergy.
A food allergy is when the body's immune system reacts unusually to specific foods. Allergic reactions are often mild, but they can sometimes be very serious.
Symptoms of a food allergy include a raised, itchy red rash, swelling of the face, eyes, lips and tongue, and shortness of breath.
A food allergy is caused when your immune system mistakenly treats harmless proteins found in certain foods as a threat. It releases a number of chemicals, which then triggers an allergic reaction.
If you think you or your child has a food allergy, make an appointment with your GP.
The advice here is primarily written for parents of a child with a food allergy. However, most of it is also relevant if you're an adult with a food allergy.
Once you have been diagnosed as having a food allergy, you will receive advice about antihistamines, adrenaline and using an auto-injector.
Alexis Manning has a peanut allergy. She first found out that she was allergic to peanuts as a child. Some sweets just tasted bad and made her lips swell a bit, and it didn't take long to work out the cause.