Are you really allergic? Clearing the air about food allergies

FOX Medical Team

Are you really allergic? Clearing the air about food allergies

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. -

You say no to nuts. Steer clear of shellfish. Can't tolerate eggs, or anything with wheat. Are you allergic, or just sensitive to certain foods.

Atlanta Allergy and Asthma's allergist Dr. Stanley Fineman says the answer isn't so clear-cut, "Because it's not easy to differentiate between a true allergy and a true sensitivity."

Dr. Fineman says even people who aren't truly allergic to something can still experience powerful symptoms when exposed to an irritant, such as smoke, or perfume, or a fragrant product. Fineman explains, "Triggers like that can trigger symptoms that could be just as severe as somebody who has a true immunological allergy.

So, what about food allergies. A lot of people say they're allergic to wheat.

Dr. Fineman says true wheat allergies are very rare. It's more likely a gluten-sensitivity, "Which is not an allergy and will not come up on an allergy skin test. It's usually handled by the gastroenterologists, and typically manifests with GI or gastro type symptoms when they eat things with gluten."

Something else that probably won't trigger a true allergic reaction? Artificial dyes in food. Dr. Fineman says he's heard of people reacting to them, "But, there's never been a good, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, or research report of any association with these specific dyes and severe, anaphylactic -type reactions."

And there are lots of questions about what young children should and shouldn't eat. For years, pediatricians warned parents of toddlers no eggs, no peanuts or peanut butter, no shellfish. Fineman says that advice is changing.

Most experts now think allowing children to try new foods, allows their body to build up a tolerance to them.

The new recommendations? Dr. Fineman says, "You should nurse the child, if you can, or give formula, and then between four and six months of age, then you start (introducing) whatever foods you eat. Including eggs, including peanut butter, including whatever it is you would eat in your diet."

That won't guarantee your child won't ever have an allergic reaction. But introducing foods early, Fineman believes, can help a child's body learned to tolerate – not fight back – against them.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Outlet Mall shopping secrets

    Outlet Mall shopping secrets

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:43:26 GMT
    I think this is what many of us assume about outlet mall shopping -- we get rock bottom prices on everything from clothes to housewares on brand names that are either leftovers from last year or this year's overstock. Well, it's not quite like that.
    I think this is what many of us assume about outlet mall shopping -- we get rock bottom prices on everything from clothes to housewares on brand names that are either leftovers from last year or this year's overstock. Well, it's not quite like that.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Labor Day entertaining and planting

    Pike Nurseries: Labor Day entertaining and planting

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:08:02 GMT
     Did you know that Pike Nurseries has a Pinterest Board that is chock-full of great entertaining ideas for the Holiday Weekend?
     Did you know that Pike Nurseries has a Pinterest Board that is chock-full of great entertaining ideas for the Holiday Weekend?
Powered by WorldNow

WDCA My20 & my20dc.com
5151 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Phone: (202) 244-5151
Email Us

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices