Food allergy affects 6% of US children younger than 5 years and 3.5-4% of the general population. Incidence of peanut allergy has quadrupled over the past decade in the USA. Pathophysiology of food reactions may be IgE-mediated, non-IgE-mediated, or mixed, IgE- and non-IgE-mediated, affecting the skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and/or cardiovascular system. Foods are major triggers of anaphylaxis in all ages. Increasing levels of serum food-specific IgE or skin-prick wheal diameters correlate with increasing probabilities of reactions. The double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge remains the diagnostic gold standard. Food allergen avoidance requires education about reading ingredient labels, avoiding cross-contact, and obtaining safe meals. Managing food-induced anaphylaxis requires education about recognizing symptoms and prompt treatment with epinephrine. Early exposure to food through a disrupted skin barrier leads to allergic sensitization, whereas early oral exposure to peanut may induce tolerance. Novel therapies utilize both allergen-specific and allergen-non-specific approaches, with great potential for effective desensitization. Because of safety concerns and ongoing evaluation of long-term efficacy parameters, immunotherapy for food allergy remains investigational.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMiddleton's Allergy Essentials
Subtitle of host publicationFirst Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages43
ISBN (Electronic)9780323392730
ISBN (Print)9780323375795
StatePublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Food Allergy and Gastrointestinal Syndromes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this