• 27 FEB 13

    Food & Drug Allergies

    An allergy occurs when something causes your body’s natural defenses (your immune system) to overreact. Reactions to foods can include a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including anaphylaxis, a serious reaction that can develop rapidly and can be deadly. Food reactions can be the result of the immune system producing an antibody, Immunoglobulin E (or IgE) to a certain food, or the result of a non-IgE reaction, which is cell-mediated. Some examples of non-IgE reactions include milk or soy intolerances, celiac disease, food protein induced enterocolitis (FPIES), and eosinophilic disorders. Almost any food can cause an adverse reaction, though egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy are responsible for the largest share of reactions.

    Symptoms can affect your skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal or cardiovascular systems. Mild symptoms may include an itchy mouth, isolated hives or mild nausea or discomfort. Severe food allergy symptoms include:

    • Vomiting
    • Stomach cramps
    • Indigestion
    • Diarrhea
    • Hives all over the body
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing
    • Repetitive cough
    • Tight, hoarse throat; trouble swallowing
    • Swelling of the tongue and/or lips
    • Weak pulse
    • Pale or blue coloring of skin
    • Dizziness or confusion


    By using caution and carefully following a trained allergist’s medical advice, you can bring food allergy under control.

    A drug reaction is your body’s response to a a medication that you or your doctor did not expect. Any medicine can cause a problem. Reactions can also occur between different medications that you are taking. It is possible for your immune system to react to a drug or chemical that your body created from that drug. This type of reaction is called a hypersensitivity reaction. Allergic drug reactions are one kind of hypersensitivity reaction.

    Symptoms of drug allergies can include:

    • Hives or a skin rash
    • Itchy skin
    • Wheezing or other breathing problems
    • Swelling
    • Anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction


    Drug reactions can be difficult to diagnose. They can be mistaken for other diseases. It is important to determine whether the symptom you experienced is allergic or nonallergic.

    Dr. Berlin can help identify a drug allergy. In some cases, drug desensitization can be utilized to help you. To provide you with the best care, please be sure to answer the following questions and bring this information with you to your appointment:

    • When you took the drug
    • When you stopped the drug
    • When the problem began
    • What happened to you
    • How long your symptoms lasted
    • What other prescription drugs you took
    • What non-prescription drugs you took
    • Any herbs or minerals you took
    • Treatment you received for this problem

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or call 856.262.9200

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