Fast Five Quiz: Food Allergies

Michael A. Kaliner, MD


September 08, 2020

Although anaphylaxis can occur without skin symptoms, cutaneous reactions are the most common clinical manifestations of an allergic reaction to a food or food additive. Peanuts remain the most common cause of severe food allergy symptoms and anaphylactic reactions in adults, with cow's milk allergy a common cause among children.

Symptoms related to food allergies and food-induced anaphylaxis include the following:

  • Oropharyngeal pruritus

  • Angioedema (eg, laryngeal edema)

  • Stridor

  • Dysphonia

  • Cough

  • Dyspnea

  • Wheezing

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Flushing

  • Urticaria

  • Angioedema

  • Ocular injection, ocular pruritus, conjunctival edema, periocular swelling

  • Nasal congestion, nasal pruritus, rhinorrhea, and sneezing

  • Abdominal pain

  • Feeling of impending doom

  • Cardiovascular collapse

In most cases of fatal food anaphylaxis, cardiovascular compromise is thought to be secondary to respiratory failure. Headache, dizziness, and blurred vision may occur. Seizures are very rare and are often associated with hypotension.

Read more about the clinical presentation of patients with food allergies.


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