Treating Allergic Reactions to Food

Learn the basics of how to treat allergic reactions to food.

The only way to prevent a reaction is to completely avoid the food you’re allergic to.

Food allergy reactions are unpredictable. The way that your body reacts to a food allergy one time cannot predict how it will react the next time.

From the moment you know or suspect you or a loved one has ingested an allergen, take action. You should be watchful and prepared to give medication.

Because the symptoms of anaphylaxis can worsen quickly, reactions must be treated right away. Seconds count!

Treatment Basics

Mild to moderate symptoms (e.g., itching, sneezing, hives or rashes) are often treated with antihistamines. Learn more about how to treat mild-to-moderate allergic reactions.

Severe symptoms (e.g., trouble breathing or swallowing) may be signs of the life-threatening condition anaphylaxis. This requires immediate treatment with epinephrine. Learn more about how to treat severe allergic reactions.

Be Prepared, Be Safe

Once you have been diagnosed with a food allergy, talk to your doctor about how to treat your allergic reactions. Work with him or her to create an individualized written plan so you and others will know what to do in case of an emergency.

An effective food allergy treatment plan includes the following:

  • Strictly avoiding all problem foods.
  • Developing a Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan.
  • Carrying your medication wherever you go.
  • Taking your medication at the first sign of a reaction.
  • Getting to an emergency room for follow-up treatment if you have a severe reaction.
  • Consider wearing an emergency medical identification (e.g., bracelet, other jewelry).

We were distraught and unsure how to make all of the changes needed to keep him safe. FARE has been our primary resource from the day of diagnosis and still is today, four years later.

-Amy, food allergy mom

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