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.
To be clear: A wheat allergy is not the same as having celiac disease. If you're allergic to wheat, you suffer from an immune response to a protein in wheat and wheat alone. Celiacs, on the other hand, react to gluten, which can be found in rye, barley, and some oats, in addition to wheat. The allergy often affects children and is usually outgrown by age three. About 20 percent of children with wheat allergies have been found to be allergic to other grains.
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