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Current Understanding of Food Allergy

Authors

  • WESLEY BURKS

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202, USA
      Address for correspondence: Wesley Burks, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, 1120 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AR 72202. Voice: 501-320-1060; fax: 501-3203173; Burkswesley@uams.edu.
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Address for correspondence: Wesley Burks, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, 1120 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AR 72202. Voice: 501-320-1060; fax: 501-3203173; Burkswesley@uams.edu.

Abstract

Abstract: IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions account for the majority of well-documented food allergy reactions, but non-IgE-mediated immune mechanisms do cause some hypersensitivity disorders. A variety of gastrointestinal, cutaneous, respiratory, and generalized symptoms and syndromes have been associated with IgE-mediated food allergy. The diagnostic approach to adverse food reactions begins with a careful medical history and physical examination. Laboratory studies may then be used appropriately in the evaluation. Once the diagnosis of food allergy is established, the only proven therapy is the strict elimination of the food from the patient's diet. Studies in both children and adults indicate that symptomatic reactivity to food allergens is often lost over time, except possibly reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, and seafood.

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