If you suspect that you have a food allergy, act fast to identify the culprit. Food allergies are no laughing matter. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, food allergies can be life-threatening. Luckily, with knowledge and medical care, most food allergies can be controlled. Here are four steps you need to take if you suspect that you have a food allergy.
Schedule a Medical Exam
If you think you have a food allergy, the first thing you need to do is schedule a medical exam. Your doctor will perform tests to determine what foods you're allergic to. Once they have a confirmed list of the foods you're bothered by, they can create a treatment plan. While you're waiting for your exam, take the time to prepare. The more information you provide your doctor, the better they'll be able to treat your allergies.
Create a Food Journal
While you're preparing for your appointment, create a food journal. This journal should include a list of all the foods you eat each day. As you eat something, write it down in your journal. Keep track of any symptoms you experience throughout the day. Some symptoms may include itching, rashes, or changes in your ability to breathe. Be sure to document any symptoms you experience next to the foods you most recently ate. That way, your doctor can match the foods to the symptoms and identify the allergens.
Drop the Potential Culprits
Once you identify foods that have caused allergy symptoms, remove them from your diet. Conduct the elimination process one at a time. Eliminating each food one at a time allows you to pinpoint the culprits. As you remove each suspect food, note any changes in your allergy symptoms. This information will help your doctor create the right treatment plan for you.
Research Your Family History
Go beyond your own personal experiences when you talk to your doctor about food allergies. Before your appointment, try to research your family allergy history. You may find that other members of your family also suffer from specific food allergies. Share this information with your doctor when you see him or her.
Don't take chances with food allergies. If you suspect that you're allergic to some of the foods you've been eating, use the tips provided here to get the treatment you need.
For questions or concerns about food allergy treatment, contact an allergy doctor near you.