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Front Page » April 23, 2009 » Focus » Identifying food allergies
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Identifying food allergies

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Whether as a child or as an adult, nearly everyone has had a food allergy at one time or another. Though many people grow out of their food allergies as they grow older, some don't. In fact, some people don't even become aware of their food allergies until they reach adulthood.

More often than not, recognizing a food allergy is relatively easy. That's because many food allergies are instantaneous in their impact, producing symptoms within a few minutes of consumption. However, some are not so quick to present themselves, and that can make them more difficult to identify. The following symptoms are some of the more common indicators of a food allergy, which, as mentioned, can present itself moments after eating or several hours later.

• Skin irritations: A food allergy could lead to hives, which likely won't appear immediately but gradually in the hours after digestion. While hives are common, other skin irritations can result from a food allergy as well.

• Joint pain: Joint pain is one potential symptom of a food allergy that does not present itself immediately. However, food allergies can cause musculoskeletal pain, which can result in fatigue. For those who already suffer from arthritis, if the typical symptoms of arthritis are magnified after eating certain foods, that could be the result of a food allergy.

• Respiratory problems: Much like respiratory problems can appear for people during what's known as "allergy season," many of those same problems can be indicative of a food allergy as well. Runny nose, sneezing and congestion could indicate a food allergy. In addition, breathing difficulties such as coughing and wheezing can also be the result of a food allergy. If you suffer an asthma attack or tightness of the chest after eating a certain food, that could be a sign of a food allergy and you should seek medical treatment immediately.

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