Over 200,000 emergency room visits every year are caused by allergic reactions to food. An estimated 15 million Americans have some form of food allergy, the symptoms of which can vary from an itchy mouth to potentially deadly anaphylaxis. Other signs of an allergic reaction include rashes, breathing issues, intestinal discomfort, and circulation problems.
"Allergies to anything can occur at any age," says Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, author of Food Allergies: A Complete Guide to Eating When Your Life Depends on It. So when you suspect you are having an allergic reaction to something you ate – even if you've eaten it before without issue – you should talk with your doctor. If you find you aren't sure what is causing an allergy, look to the ten foods listed here. After all, some 90 percent of allergies are caused by just a handful of products – milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
According to a study funded by Food Allergy Research and Education, the number of children in America with peanut allergies more than tripled between 1997 and 2008. Since the report, some schools have banned peanut products from their campuses. Peanut allergies usually last a lifetime and people with them are often also allergic to tree nuts. Because the two tend to come into contact during manufacturing and serving, people with peanut allergies are advised to steer clear of tree nuts as well.
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