We Specialize in Food Allergies
Food allergies are a serious and life-threatening condition that affects about 8% of children. The incidence of food allergies is on the rise. At Vital Allergy and Asthma Center, we would like to help you take control of your allergies.
What is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is an immune reaction when your body overreacts to a food, identifying it as a danger and triggering a protective response. The most common food allergens are:
- Tree nuts
While these are the most common food allergies, an allergy can occur to any food. Here at Vital Allergy and Asthma Center, we see all types of food allergies.
Sometimes in order to clarify whether someone is truly allergic to a food, we will conduct a food challenge. This is a 3-4 hour procedure where we have you ingest the food under medical supervision. This is the gold-standard test to diagnose a food allergy when the blood and skin prick testing does not give us a definitive answer.
How Does a Food Allergy Present?
Food allergies can present in a variety of ways. Typically, food allergic reactions occur quickly upon exposure to the foods. Most commonly, a reaction will occur within 20-30 minutes of eating the food; however, delayed reactions are possible and can occur up to 4 hours after eating the food.
Common symptoms include:
- Hives and itchiness
- Redness or flushing
- Vomiting, nausea, and/or stomach cramps
- Trouble breathing
- Tightness of the throat and/or voice changes
- Coughing or wheezing
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Anaphylaxis—this is the most concerning of symptoms and can include several of the symptoms presented above. This is a potentially life-threatening reaction that can impair breathing and send the body into shock
How Do You Diagnose A Food Allergy?
The first step in diagnosis is the allergist will ask you a variety of questions including things like what you ate, how much you ate, and what the reaction was. Afterwards, the allergist will commonly order testing such as skin prick testing, blood work, or both to confirm your diagnosis.
- Skin-prick tests: This testing provides results in about 20 minutes. A liquid containing a tiny amount of the food allergen is placed on the skin of your arm or back. Your skin is pricked with a small, sterile probe, allowing the liquid to seep under the skin.
- Blood tests: This testing is typically provides results in 1-2 weeks. Blood is drawn and levels of IgE (allergy antibody) to specific foods or food proteins are checked.
Are There Any Treatment Options Available For Patients With Food Allergies?
Currently, those suffering with life-threatening food allergies only have the option of strict avoidance of allergenic foods and carrying an epinephrine autoinjector everywhere. At Vital Allergy and Asthma Center, we would like to offer these patients a better option. Today, there is a cutting edge new therapy available for many food allergic patients, Food Desensitization or Oral Immunotherapy (OIT).
All reviews are from verified patients – August 25, 2014 by Hillita W. (Verified Patient)
This doctor is awesome! Very friendly, down to earth, and he cared about my health! Staff was very friendly and welcoming! Im so happy i found him on Zoo Doc.
All reviews are from verified patients – September 4, 2015 by Beren C.
This doctor is awesome. He has a fantastic bed-side manner and is wonderfully personable. I look forward to continuing my allergy treatment with him.
Dr. Chokshi is an active member of many organizations.
Including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Greater and the Houston Allergy Society, as well as the Texas Medical Association.
What Other Types of Food Allergies Do We See?
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis and other eosinophilic gut disorders
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)
- Milk Protein Allergy
- Oral Allergy Syndrome