Common Food Allergies


Eight foods are responsible for 90 percent of food allergies. They are:

  • cow’s milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • tree nuts (such as cashews or walnuts)
  • wheat
  • soy

Milk Allergies

A milk allergy is a reaction to whey or casein, the proteins found in cow’s milk. It’s not the same as lactose intolerance. Milk allergies have been studied more than any other food allergy.

The bad news is that children with milk allergies are much more likely to develop allergic reactions to other foods including eggs, soy, and peanuts.

Most children with milk allergies also develop one or more other atopic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, or eczema.

Egg Allergies

Egg allergies occur most often in children and usually resolve at a very young age. However some people may remain allergic to eggs for their entire lives.

A person may be allergic to a certain protein in either the yolk or the egg whites. A person with an allergy to the egg yolk may be able to tolerate egg whites and vice versa.  Some people are allergic to both.

Peanut Allergies

Children with peanut allergies rarely grow out of their sensitivity to peanuts, so a peanut allergy is usually a lifelong disorder. Because of this, peanut allergies are particularly serious. Accidental exposure can occur at any time during a person’s life. Though rare, a peanut allergy may result in anaphylaxis. This is a severe allergic reaction that can restrict breathing or cause cardiac arrest. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention in the form of a shot of epinephrine (EpiPen). A patient should be watched for several hours after the shot to make sure symptoms don’t return.

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