Food Allergies: An Overview

  • Jialing JiangEmail author
  • Lauren M. Kao
  • Ozge N. Aktas
  • Ruchi S. Gupta


Food allergy (FA), a pathologic immune response to food proteins, affects 8% of children and adolescents in the United States. Effective FA diagnosis incorporates a comprehensive clinical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing. Patients with FA are at risk for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction involving two or more organ systems. Prompt administration of epinephrine is the only lifesaving treatment for anaphylaxis. Additionally, lifestyle modifications are necessary to ensure the safety of patients with FA. These modifications include, but are not limited to, strict avoidance of food allergens, careful reading of food labels, comprehensive education on anaphylaxis management, taking precautions when outside of the home, and raising food allergy awareness. This chapter will discuss prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, differential diagnosis, prognosis, and common misperceptions of food allergy.


Food allergy Prevalence Diagnosis Treatment Epinephrine Anaphylaxis Pathophysiology Management Prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jialing Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren M. Kao
    • 1
  • Ozge N. Aktas
    • 1
  • Ruchi S. Gupta
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Center for Community HealthChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary CareChicagoUSA

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