American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

This web site is not intended to be clinically oriented. Thus, we will provide links to reliable medical web sites that should be consulted as the primary source of this type of information (see box at right).

In general terms, we would plead with individuals who believe that they are allergic to one of more foods or food ingredients to seek competent and expert medical diagnosis to confirm the suspicion. Self or parental diagnosis is a common practice with food allergy but is often unreliable. Without expert medical assistance, individuals often identify food as a causative factor when it is not or else they identify the wrong food or too many foods. Misdiagnosis obviously leads to unnecessary avoidance diets. These avoidance diets can be nutritionally harmful in some circumstances especially in infants and young children. Additionally, in severe cases of food allergy, a diagnosis by an allergist will allow access to a prescription of epinephrine (adrenalin), a potentially life-saving drug in cases of anaphylactic shock. Thus, obtaining a competent diagnosis is essential to proper management of the condition.

Updated 14 January, 2014