What is a food allergy?
Allergic reactions to food occur when the bodys immune
system mistakenly attacks harmless food proteins. The
allergic individuals immune system makes IgE
antibodies, special proteins that can detect particular food
proteins and that sit on the surface of allergy cells found
throughout the body. Like a radar, these IgE antibodies
detect the food and alert the cell to pour out chemicals,
such as histamines, that result in the allergic
What are the symptoms of food allergy?
Symptoms of food allergy affect the skin (e.g., hives;
swelling of the lips, tongue, and face), respiratory system
(e.g., shortness of breath, wheezing), and the
gastrointestinal tract (e.g., abdominal pain, vomiting). If
left untreated, these symptoms can be fatal.
Is there a cure for food allergy?
Currently, there is no cure for food allergy. Avoidance is
the only way to prevent an allergic reaction to food.
How are food-allergic reactions treated?
Some reactions may be controlled by the use of an
antihistamine such as Benadryl™. Epinephrine is the
medication of choice for controlling severe allergic
reactions to food. To learn more about how epinephrine is
made available in each country, visit the Food
Allergy Around the