A food allergy is an allergic reaction to a particular food.
Food allergies are commonly triggered by certain nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans.
Symptoms vary by age and may include rashes, wheezing, a runny nose, and, occasionally in adults, more serious symptoms.
Skin prick tests, blood tests, and an elimination diet may help doctors identify the food triggering the allergy.
The only effective treatment is to eliminate the food from the diet.
Many different foods can cause allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to foods may be severe and sometimes include an anaphylactic reaction.
Food allergies may start during infancy. Children may outgrow a food allergy. Thus, food allergies are less common among adults. But if adults have food allergies, the allergies tend to persist throughout life.
Food allergies are sometimes blamed for such disorders as hyperactivity in children, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and depression, as well as poor athletic performance. However, these associations have not been substantiated.