What to Know About Food Allergies this Holiday

Aren’t Sinus Allergies Enough?

Sinus allergies are a beast of their own. Why do we also have to have food allergies? (Especially when we’re allergic to something we love to eat — that’s just not fair.) Unfortunately, it’s the way of allergies, and while food allergies cannot be cured, they can be avoided.  

Are You Allergic to One of these Eight Foods?


More than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in individuals, but the FDA identifies 8 of the most common, which are as follows:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
  • Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

Did you check any of these on the list? If you’re not sure, we can help.

Feast on the Facts

It’s estimated that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including nearly 6 million children under the age of 18. While many allergic reactions to food may not be serious, there are some that can be dangerous or even life-threatening, like those that cause anaphylaxis, which is a “severe, whole-body allergic reaction to a chemical that has become an allergen.” For children, it can be hard to avoid certain foods at school, so it’s important to recognize symptoms for yourself, take necessary allergy tests, and then know what to avoid and plan for it for you and your kids.

Food Allergy Symptoms are Fickle

Food allergies sometimes show themselves immediately and sometimes hours after a person has eaten the food. Some common symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Tingling or itching inside the mouth
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or lips
  • Swelling of throat and vocal cords
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Flushed skin or rash

Control Your Allergies and Be Prepared

Since we cannot cure allergies, we have to live with them and avoid the foods that trigger them. Before eating anything, especially if given to you as a gift or brought to a family dinner, ask about the ingredients. Even ask if your specific allergy-inducing ingredient was used. Read food labels before purchasing or using certain items, as manufacturers are required by law to list the ingredients in prepared foods.

Allergy-Free Cooking for the Holidays

Food allergies aren’t fun, and the holidays (and all their delicious treats) are meant to be. Pinterest and various cooking sites, like Food Network, have recipes for fun appetizers, bread substitutes, and other side dishes so that you’re not left out at the table. Find the right recipes that fit your food allergies, and maybe whip up one of your favorites that you know you’ll love.

Happy holidays from Johnson Medical Associates!

Allergic to certain foods and aren’t which ones? Dr. Alfred Johnson can help through the Johnson Medical Associates diagnostic testing.


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