Food allergy is on the increase in our community so that as many as 2% of adults are reported to suffer from an allergy to foods, which can be severe. By contrast, higher numbers of children are allergic to foods so that some adults lose their food allergy as they grow up.

The consequences of food allergy in a person’s life can be significant so treatment aims to keep a person with food allergy safe and to give them the tools they need to be able to get on with their lives. Some young adults also see an allergy specialist to work out if they are not allergic to a food.

A consultation with an allergy specialist is used in food allergy to:

  1. Establish whether the symptoms are likely due to food allergy.
  2. If a food allergy is diagnosed, accurately determine what foods the person is allergic to. Most food allergic people are sensitive to one or two foods.
  3. Undertake blood or skin prick testing to confirm the underlying nature of the allergy
  4. Construct a plan for avoidance of the culprit foods and educate patients how to do this. We often consult a dietitian with specific expertise in allergies if food allergy avoidance is difficult, or likely to lead to nutritional problems.
  5. Prescribe and Educate patients on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors
  6. Establish when a person is not allergic to a food. This can take the form of allergy testing and further food challenge testing may be indicated.

The aim of treatment for food allergies is to help people with food allergies:

  1. Know what they are allergic to
  2. Know how to avoid their allergic triggers
  3. Know how to manage an inadvertent exposure to an allergic trigger.
It is important that people with food allergies are followed up regularly, either by their specialist or their local doctor to make sure their Adrenaline autoinjectors are up to date and that they know how to implement their avoidance and action plans.

Further information

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy: Patients and Consumers Information

  Make an appointment with Melbourne Allergy Asthma & Immunology Consultants to discuss your best treatment options for food allergies.

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North Melbourne VIC 3051

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