Issue No. 16
Food Allergy Advice to Chew OnDate: April 25, 2012
Just because you weren’t allergic to certain foods as a child doesn’t mean you can’t develop allergies as an adult.
The only way to be sure is to have an allergy evaluation. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening, so once you know what foods you’re allergic to, stay away from them, says Nkiruka Erekosima, M.D., M.P.H., an allergist and immunologist at Johns Hopkins.
Avoiding trigger foods is easier when you prepare your own meals and you control the ingredients. But what about when you eat out?
“Notify anyone who will be preparing and serving your food that you have a specific food allergy,” Erekosima recommends. “If there’s any question about whether something you’re allergic to is in the food—or even on the surface where it was prepared—just avoid it.”
To be on the safe side, always carry an epinephrine injection device in case you have a severe reaction, and consider wearing a medical alert ID that lists your allergies.
To learn more about food allergies, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary.