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Allergies Health Center

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Food Allergies

How Are Food Allergies Treated?

The best way to cope with a food allergy is to strictly avoid the foods that cause a reaction. Mild reactions often will subside without treatment. For rashes, skin creams may ease discomfort while antihistamines can help reduce itching and other symptoms.

For more serious reactions, corticosteroids such as prednisone will help to reduce swelling. In life-threatening situations, an epinephrine injection can immediately begin to reverse symptoms and is the only effective treatment option.

How Can I Be Prepared for an Allergic Reaction?

Once you and your doctor have determined which foods you should avoid, stay away from them. However, it is important that you maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. Ask your doctor to recommend foods that will provide you with the necessary nutrients.

You should also be aware of the ingredients in processed foods. Learn to read labels and read them every time to know what you are about to eat. . Your doctor, nurse, or a registered dietitian can help you learn how to read food labels to discover hidden sources of food allergens.

If you are prone to allergic reactions, ask your doctor to prescribe an epinephrine injection kit ("Epi pen"), and carry two with you at all times.

Do not hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector pen if you show any symptom of anaphylaxis. The injection will not hurt you and could save your life. Dial 911 even if you have injected yourself because the relief the pen may provide could be only temporary. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 19, 2015
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