When To Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have had a severe reaction in the past from the same food and similar symptoms are developing. If you have an allergy kit prescribed by your doctor for severe allergic reactions, give yourself the epinephrine shot before you call for help. If possible, have someone else call while you give yourself the shot.
Because symptoms can come back even after the injection, go to the emergency room every time you have a reaction, even if you are feeling better. You should be observed for several hours after the reaction.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Rapid swelling of the throat or tongue
- Trouble breathing, wheezing, or deep cough; a pale face or blue lips or earlobes
- Feeling faint
- Signs of shock, including:
- Lightheadedness or a feeling that you are about to pass out
- Restlessness, confusion, or a sense of impending doom
- Moist, cool skin, or possibly profuse sweating
- Weakness, thirst, nausea, or vomiting
If you witness a severe allergic reaction and the person becomes unconscious, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
If your food allergy symptoms are getting worse, call your doctor. It is important to know which foods are to blame so that you can avoid them.
If your food allergy symptoms do not get worse or are not too severe or bothersome, you can try eliminating suspect foods from your diet to see whether symptoms disappear.
Who to see
The following health professionals may evaluate and treat mild food allergies:
- Reference Family medicine physician Opens New Window
- Reference Pediatrician Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
- Reference Nurse practitioner Opens New Window
- Reference Physician assistant Opens New Window
An Reference allergy specialist Opens New Window may be needed when:
- You need to identify the foods that trigger allergic reactions.
- Your work or school performance or quality of life is affected because of allergy symptoms or medicine side effects.
- You have other medical conditions, such as recurrent asthma.
You may also be referred to other specialists, such as a:
- Reference Dermatologist Opens New Window, to treat allergic skin problems.
- Reference Pulmonary specialist Opens New Window, when moderate or severe asthma is also present.
A nutritionist or Reference registered dietitian Opens New Window can help you keep a balanced diet even when you can't eat some foods. A nutritionist or dietitian can also help you learn how to avoid hidden allergens in foods and give you ideas about how to make substitutions in recipes.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 23, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology