Food Allergy Specialist

North Texas Allergy and Asthma Associates

Allergists located in Dallas, TX & Plano, TX

Food allergies can make everyday menu planning a challenge, disrupt school activities, and cause life-threatening reactions. The board certified allergists at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates want to help patients get the highest quality care, including managing their food allergies. Call or schedule an appointment online to visit the doctors at any of their three premier locations in North Texas: Texas Health Dallas, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, and Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

Food Allergy Q & A

What is a food allergy?

Many food allergies appear early in life, affecting 1 in 13 children, but they can develop at any age. In fact, you can eat food for years, then suddenly develop an allergy to it.

A food allergy develops when the immune system mistakenly interprets food protein as a threat to your health. Then it creates antibodies to the protein, or allergen, so that every time the same protein enters your system, it’s identified as a hazard, and histamines are released. The histamines are responsible for food allergy symptoms, which occur within minutes to several hours after eating:

Mild symptoms:

  • Skin symptoms: red, swollen rash or dry, itchy patches
  • Itchy mouth or ears
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nasal congestion or a runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing or wheezing

Severe symptoms:

  • Swelling of lips, tongue, and/or throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Turning blue
  • Feeling faint or weak
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain

What are the most common causes of food allergies?

Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but eight types of food account for 90% of all allergies:

  • Peanuts – Most common food allergy; only 20% eventually outgrow the allergy
  • Tree nuts – 25-40% of those with a peanut allergy also develop a tree nut allergy
  • Eggs – About 70% of children outgrow an egg allergy by age 16, but their allergic reactions can range from mild to life-threatening anaphylaxis
  • Milk – Only 20% outgrow by age 4; 80% outgrow the allergy by age 16
  • Wheat – About 65% outgrow by age 12; some, but not all, people who are allergic to wheat can eat other grains   
  • Fish – Often doesn’t appear until adulthood
  • Shellfish – Common allergy that often causes a severe reaction
  • Soy – Typically appears in infants and before the age of 3 years; it’s outgrown by age 10

How are food allergies treated?

The only way to treat a food allergy is to avoid the food. For some allergens, like milk, eggs, nuts, and wheat, that’s not always easy because they’re such common ingredients in many different products. Packaged foods produced in the United States must state whether any of the eight common food allergens are in the product.

The doctors at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates will perform tests to identify your allergens, and they’ll recommend medications to relieve symptoms. Your doctor will also prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector, which is used in case of a severe reaction.

Insurances Accepted

View list of insurances, Please call the office if you have any questions.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
Medicare B
United Healthcare
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