When to call a doctor for a food allergy

It seems like a normal allergic response, but is it? Could it get worse? When do you need to see a doctor?

Call 911 for a severe allergic response; don’t wait

Call 911 right away if you suspect a severe allergic response to food or anything else. Symptoms can rapidly turn into anaphylactic which can cause breathing difficulty and be life threatening. If you carry an auto-injector, use it right away. It is better to be safe than sorry with an unpredictable allergic reaction.

Severe allergic reaction symptoms include:
- Rapid swelling of the throat, mouth or tongue
- Trouble breathing, wheezing, or coughing
- Pale face, blue lips or earlobes
- Feeling faint
- Signs of shock including lightheadedness, restlessness, confusion, cool skin or profuse sweating, weakness, thirst, nausea or vomiting

For mild allergic response, start with your family doctor

A variety of doctors can evaluate your mild food allergy: family medicine physician, pediatrician, internist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant. If your allergy is persistent or getting worse or perhaps you can’t identify what is triggering it, you can consult an allergy specialist. An allergy specialist, and there are pediatric varieties, can tell you with some certainty what foods are triggering the response and make evaluations of your lifestyle and recommend changes which may positively impact your health. A dermatologist can also help with allergy related eczema. A pulmonary specialist can be consulted if asthma is also present and creating a more stressful allergic response.

You could also benefit by seeing a nutritionist

When a food needs to be eliminated from your diet, it may be beneficial to see a nutritionist, especially if that food is a staple in most diets. Wheat for instance, can be very difficult to eliminate and some help from a professional to guide you to alternatives can make the adjustment much easier.

Source: WebMD

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