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.
Shellfish is another allergy that can develop in adulthood and is unlikely to go away. Approximately 60 percent of people with shellfish allergy don't experience their first allergic reaction until adulthood. People who are allergic to shellfish are likely to react to both crustacea (like lobsters, crabs, shrimp) and mollusks (like clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops). Beyond avoiding foods and products with shellfish, people with this allergy should be careful to keep out of steam produced by shellfish cooking, which can also cause an allergic response.
Credit: Getty Images