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Food allergies send someone to the emergency room every three minutes in the United States. Peanuts, shellfish — you name it — and someone may have an intense reaction to it. In some cases, the allergic reaction can prove deadly.
So, how can food allergies be prevented, and what signs should parents and allergy sufferers look for? Dr. Erika Gonzalez-Reyes, a pediatric immunologist with The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, says a little less protection from the world may be the best protection from allergies.
In this episode, Dr. Gonzalez-Reyes talks about the 8 types of food that cause reactions and how to combat them. Click here to listen to the podcast.
Dr. Gonzalez-Reyes says the common skin-prick tests, in which a person is scratched by a needle coated with proteins from a suspect food, produce signs of irritation 50 to 60 percent of the time, even when the person is not actually allergic. She says it’s more of a test of what you’re not allergic to, rather than what will affect you. Blood tests can be more accurate.
For those who suffer from allergies that could cause severe reactions, remember to always carry your epinephrine injector, and teach those around you how to administer it, should you need help.