What type of allergies do i have

One reason so numerous people experience allergy and food intolerance symptoms after eating chocolate is that chocolates often contain foods that are problematic for people.

Here are some common allergens you can discover in chocolate:

  1. Peanuts and Tree Nuts: Obviously, some chocolates are filled with peanut butter or with whole nuts. But even chocolates that don't include peanuts or tree nuts as ingredients can be problematic for people with peanut allergies or tree nut allergies because manufacturers that make chocolate assortments containing nuts often make every of their chocolates on the same manufacturing line. Labeling rules do not require manufacturers to mention this on food labels, so always call manufacturers before eating high-risk foods love chocolates.

    You can also purchase chocolate from nut-free manufacturers love Vermont Nut-Free, or glance for label indications love "manufactured in a dedicated nut-free facility."

  2. Wheat and Gluten: The same issues that apply to peanuts and tree nuts also affect people with wheat allergies and celiac disease. Filled chocolates often use flour or wheat starch as a binder, and crisped rice can be problematic for celiacs because it often includes barley malt. Gluten-free chocolatiers include Endangered Species Chocolate and Equal Exchange.
  3. Soy: Technically, chocolate is an emulsion (a mixture of two liquids that would otherwise separate), and just love mayonnaise and shelf-stable salad dressings, it generally includes an emulsifier to hold it solid at room temperature.

    Among the most common is soy lecithin, which is problematic for numerous people with soy allergies. This should be listed clearly on food labels.

  4. Corn: Corn is incredibly hard to avoid in the industrial food supply, and chocolate is no exception. In addition to high-fructose corn syrup in some chocolate brands, some manufacturers may use corn on production lines. Be especially alert for the presence of corn in white chocolate.
  5. Milk:Dairy allergies are extremely common, especially in children, and almost every chocolate contains at least some milk.

    If you're lactose intolerant and can tolerate little amounts of dairy products, attempt bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate: Those chocolates are required by law to contain a higher percentage of chocolate liquor and, therefore, will own less milk and sugar. Dairy-free chocolates are on the market from brands love Tropical Source, Amanda's Own, Premium Chocolatiers, and Chocolate Decadence.

  6. Berries: Berries are among the more common allergenic fruits. Be careful of assortments; no matter how carefully you read the legend indicating which type of chocolate is located where in the box, it's too simple for pieces to get mixed up.

Always double-check labels on anything you purchase, since manufacturing practices can change without warning.


Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

How to Stay Healthy, Breathe Easier, and Feel Energetic This Winter

Indoor allergies, freezing weather, less sunlight — winter can make it hard to stay well mentally and physically. Discover out how to protect yourself against seasonal allergies, the winter blahs, freezing winds, comfort-eating traps, and fatigue this year.

Learn More About the Ultimate Winter Wellness Guide

Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone.

Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.

Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.

We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.


Main allergy symptoms

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  2. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  3. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  4. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  5. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  6. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.


The Best Research Resources

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.

A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)

In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology. The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis.

It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat. It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.

U.S.

National Library of Medicine

The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library. As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection. It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.


Other Potential Problems

There are two other potential issues with chocolate:

  1. Drug Interactions: Rarely, chocolate may cause symptoms that resemble allergy symptoms (like skin itchiness) in people taking the common medication Prozac (fluoxetine).

    It's possible that the sensitivity to the biological chemical serotonin that seems to cause this unusual reaction can happen due to Prozac, or other similar drugs. Be certain your allergist is aware of any medications you're taking before you undergo allergy testing. This could be especially useful information if your tests are negative.

  2. Lopes JP, Kattan J, Doppelt A, Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Bunyavanich S. Not so sweet: True chocolate and cocoa allergy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2019;7(8):2868-2871. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.04.023

  3. Bedford B, Yu Y, Wang X, Garber EAE, Jackson LS.

    A Limited Survey of Dark Chocolate Bars Obtained in the United States for Undeclared Milk and Peanut Allergens. Journal of Food Protection. 2017;80(4):692-702. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-16-443

  4. Visioli F, Bernardini E, Poli A, Paoletti R. Chocolate and Health: A Brief Review of the Evidence. Chocolate and Health. 2012:63-75. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2038-2_5

  5. Caffeine: Contrary to favorite belief, chocolate is extremely low in caffeine: one ounce of milk chocolate contains only six milligrams of caffeine.

    In comparison, one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 34 milligrams, and a 2-ounce double espresso can range from 45 to 100 milligrams. However, if you are highly sensitive to caffeine, chocolate may exacerbate your symptoms, and you may discover that you're better off avoiding it. Dark chocolate has far more caffeine than milk chocolate.

  6. Cederberg J, Knight S, Svenson S, Melhus H. Itch and skin rash from chocolate during fluoxetine and sertraline treatment: case report. BMC Psychiatry. 2004;4:36. Published 2004 Nov 2. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-36

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Read our editorial policy to study more about how we fact-check and hold our content precise, dependable, and trustworthy.

  • Bedford B, Yu Y, Wang X, Garber EAE, Jackson LS. A Limited Survey of Dark Chocolate Bars Obtained in the United States for Undeclared Milk and Peanut Allergens. Journal of Food Protection. 2017;80(4):692-702. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-16-443

  • Visioli F, Bernardini E, Poli A, Paoletti R. Chocolate and Health: A Brief Review of the Evidence. Chocolate and Health. 2012:63-75. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2038-2_5

  • Cederberg J, Knight S, Svenson S, Melhus H. Itch and skin rash from chocolate during fluoxetine and sertraline treatment: case report.

    BMC Psychiatry. 2004;4:36. Published 2004 Nov 2. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-36

  • Lopes JP, Kattan J, Doppelt A, Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Bunyavanich S. Not so sweet: True chocolate and cocoa allergy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2019;7(8):2868-2871. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.04.023

  • Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004. 4:36.

Additional Reading

  1. Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004.

    4:36.

Additional Reading

  1. Cederberg, Jonas, et al. "Itch and Skin Rash from Chocolate During Fluoxetine and Sertraline Treatment: Case Report." BMC Psychiatry. 2004. 4:36.


Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites.

It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.

ENThealth

ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip. As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.

In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on a flight from London to Nice, suffering a fatal allergic reaction to a baguette bought from Pret a Manger.

At an inquest, the court heard how Natasha, who was 15 and had multiple severe food allergies, had carefully checked the ingredients on the packet. Sesame seeds – which were in the bread dough, the family later found out – were not listed. “It was their fault,” her dad Nadim said in a statement. “I was stunned that a large food company love Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die.”

This horrifying case highlights how careful people with allergies need to be, as do the food companies – not least because allergies own been growing in prevalence in the past few decades.

“Food allergy is on the rise and has been for some time,” says Holly Shaw, nurse adviser for Allergy UK, a charity that supports people with allergies.

Children are more likely to be affected – between 6 and 8% of children are thought to own food allergies, compared with less than 3% of adults – but numbers are growing in westernised countries, as well as places such as China.

“Certainly, as a charity, we’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we get, from adults and parents of children with suspected or confirmed allergy,” says Shaw. Certain types of allergy are more common in childhood, such as cow’s milk or egg allergy but, she says: “It is possible at any point in life to develop an allergy to something previously tolerated.”

Stephen Till, professor of allergy at King’s College London and a consultant allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital believe, says that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system inappropriately recognises something foreign as a bug, and mounts an attack against it.

“You make antibodies which stick to your immune cells,” he says, “and when you get re-exposed at a later time to the allergen, those antibodies are already there and they trigger the immune cells to react.”

Allergies can own a huge impact on quality of life, and can, in rare cases such as that of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, be fatal. There is no cure for a food allergy, although there has been recent promising work involving the use of probiotics and drug treatments.

The first trial dedicated to treating adults with peanut allergy is just starting at Guy’s hospital.

“There is a lot of work going on in prevention to better understand the weaning process, and there’s a lot of buzz around desensitisation,” says Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals. Desensitisation is conducted by exposing the patient to minuscule, controlled amounts of the allergen. It’s an ongoing treatment though, rather than a cure. “When they stop having it regularly, they’re allergic again, it doesn’t change the underlying process.”

What we do know is that we are more allergic than ever. “If you ponder in terms of decades, are we seeing more food allergy now than we were 20 or 30 years ago?

I ponder we can confidently tell yes,” says Fox. “If you glance at the research from the 1990s and early 2000s there is beautiful excellent data that the quantity of peanut allergy trebled in a extremely short period.”

There has also been an increase in the number of people with severe reactions showing up in hospital emergency departments. In 2015-16, 4,482 people in England were admitted to A&E for anaphylactic shock (although not every of these will own been below to food allergy). This number has been climbing each year and it’s the same across Europe, the US and Australia, says Fox.

Why is there this rise in allergies?

The truth is, nobody knows. Fox doesn’t believe it is below to better diagnosis. And it won’t be below to one single thing. There own been suggestions that it could be caused by reasons ranging from a lack of vitamin D to gut health and pollution. Weaning practices could also influence food allergy, he says. “If you introduce something much earlier into the diet, then you’re less likely to become allergic to it,” he says. A 2008 study found that the prevalence of peanut allergy in Jewish children in the UK, where the advice had been to avoid peanuts, was 10 times higher than that of children in Israel, where rates are low – there, babies are often given peanut snacks.

Should parents wean their babies earlier, and introduce foods such as peanuts?

Fox says it’s a “minefield”, but he advises sticking to the Department of Health and World Health Organization’s line that promotes exclusive breastfeeding for six months before introducing other foods, “and to not delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut and egg beyond that, as this may increase the risk of allergy, particularly in kids with eczema”. (Fox says there is a direct relationship between a baby having eczema and the chances of them having a food allergy.)

The adults Till sees are those whose allergies started in childhood (people are more likely to grow out of milk or egg allergies, than peanut allergies, for instance) or those with allergy that started in adolescence or adulthood.

Again, it is not clear why you can tolerate something every your life and then develop an allergy to it. It could be to do with our changing diets in recent decades.

“The commonest new onset severe food allergy I see is to shellfish, and particularly prawns,” says Till. “It’s my own observation that the types of food we eat has changed fairly a lot in recent decades as a result of changes in the food industry and supply chain.” He says we are now eating foods such as tiger prawns that we probably didn’t eat so often in the past.

He has started to see people with an allergy to lupin flour, which comes from a legume in the same family as peanuts, which is more commonly used in continental Europe but has been increasingly used in the UK.

Sesame – thought to own been the cause of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s reaction – is another growing allergen, thanks to its inclusion in products that are now mainstream, such as hummus. One problem with sesame, says Till, is: “It often doesn’t show up extremely well in our tests, so it can be hard to gauge just how allergic someone is to it.”

Fox says it’s significant to stress that deaths from food allergy are still rare. “Food allergy is not the leading cause of death of people with food allergies – it’s still a extremely remote risk,” says Fox.

“But of course you don’t desire to be that one who is incredibly unlucky, so it causes grand anxiety. The genuine challenge of managing kids with food allergy is it’s really hard to predict which of the children are going to own the bad reactions, so everybody has to act as if they might be that one.”

Who Gets Allergies?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed below through genes from parents to their kids.

But just because you, your partner, or one of your children might own allergies doesn’t mean that every of your kids will definitely get them. And someone generally doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.

Some kids own allergies even if no family member is allergic, and those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others.

How Do Allergies Happen?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off.

This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen «invader.»

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.

Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen. So, when a person with a food allergy eats that specific food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will own an allergic reaction.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).

So doctors will desire anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.

What type of allergies do i have

Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Common Airborne Allergens

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  1. Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants.

    Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  2. Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles.

    Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  3. Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.
  4. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day.

    They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

  5. Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms

  1. hives
  2. wheezing
  3. swelling
  4. hoarseness
  5. throat tightness
  6. diarrhea
  7. stomachache
  8. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  9. vomiting
  10. trouble breathing
  11. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
  12. coughing
  13. A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  14. A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin.

    This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

Allergic reactions can vary. Sometimes, a person can own a mild reaction that affects only one body system, love hives on the skin. Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Some allergies are fairly simple to identify but others are less obvious because they can be similar to other conditions.

If your kid has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a «cold» at the same time every year, talk with your doctor, who might diagnose an allergy and prescribe medicines, or may refer you to an allergist(a doctor who is an expert in the treatment of allergies) for allergy tests.

To discover the cause of an allergy, allergists generally do skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens.

A skin test can work in one of two ways:

  • coughing
  • A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  • Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas. Most formulas are cow’s milk-based.

    Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  • Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  • Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  • stuffy nose
  • If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  • Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.
  • Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  • Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions.

    Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.

  • itchy nose and/or throat
  • Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite. But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.
  • Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  • Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.

    Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.

  • Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin.

    This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

  • Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
  • Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids.

    What type of allergies do i have

    Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.

  • Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  • sneezing
  • Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.
  • Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others.

    Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy.

For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites.

It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.

ENThealth

ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip.

As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.

In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on a flight from London to Nice, suffering a fatal allergic reaction to a baguette bought from Pret a Manger. At an inquest, the court heard how Natasha, who was 15 and had multiple severe food allergies, had carefully checked the ingredients on the packet. Sesame seeds – which were in the bread dough, the family later found out – were not listed. “It was their fault,” her dad Nadim said in a statement. “I was stunned that a large food company love Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die.”

This horrifying case highlights how careful people with allergies need to be, as do the food companies – not least because allergies own been growing in prevalence in the past few decades.

“Food allergy is on the rise and has been for some time,” says Holly Shaw, nurse adviser for Allergy UK, a charity that supports people with allergies.

Children are more likely to be affected – between 6 and 8% of children are thought to own food allergies, compared with less than 3% of adults – but numbers are growing in westernised countries, as well as places such as China.

“Certainly, as a charity, we’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we get, from adults and parents of children with suspected or confirmed allergy,” says Shaw. Certain types of allergy are more common in childhood, such as cow’s milk or egg allergy but, she says: “It is possible at any point in life to develop an allergy to something previously tolerated.”

Stephen Till, professor of allergy at King’s College London and a consultant allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital believe, says that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system inappropriately recognises something foreign as a bug, and mounts an attack against it.

“You make antibodies which stick to your immune cells,” he says, “and when you get re-exposed at a later time to the allergen, those antibodies are already there and they trigger the immune cells to react.”

Allergies can own a huge impact on quality of life, and can, in rare cases such as that of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, be fatal. There is no cure for a food allergy, although there has been recent promising work involving the use of probiotics and drug treatments. The first trial dedicated to treating adults with peanut allergy is just starting at Guy’s hospital.

“There is a lot of work going on in prevention to better understand the weaning process, and there’s a lot of buzz around desensitisation,” says Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.

Desensitisation is conducted by exposing the patient to minuscule, controlled amounts of the allergen. It’s an ongoing treatment though, rather than a cure. “When they stop having it regularly, they’re allergic again, it doesn’t change the underlying process.”

What we do know is that we are more allergic than ever. “If you ponder in terms of decades, are we seeing more food allergy now than we were 20 or 30 years ago? I ponder we can confidently tell yes,” says Fox. “If you glance at the research from the 1990s and early 2000s there is beautiful excellent data that the quantity of peanut allergy trebled in a extremely short period.”

There has also been an increase in the number of people with severe reactions showing up in hospital emergency departments.

In 2015-16, 4,482 people in England were admitted to A&E for anaphylactic shock (although not every of these will own been below to food allergy). This number has been climbing each year and it’s the same across Europe, the US and Australia, says Fox.

Why is there this rise in allergies? The truth is, nobody knows. Fox doesn’t believe it is below to better diagnosis. And it won’t be below to one single thing. There own been suggestions that it could be caused by reasons ranging from a lack of vitamin D to gut health and pollution. Weaning practices could also influence food allergy, he says.

“If you introduce something much earlier into the diet, then you’re less likely to become allergic to it,” he says. A 2008 study found that the prevalence of peanut allergy in Jewish children in the UK, where the advice had been to avoid peanuts, was 10 times higher than that of children in Israel, where rates are low – there, babies are often given peanut snacks.

Should parents wean their babies earlier, and introduce foods such as peanuts?

Fox says it’s a “minefield”, but he advises sticking to the Department of Health and World Health Organization’s line that promotes exclusive breastfeeding for six months before introducing other foods, “and to not delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut and egg beyond that, as this may increase the risk of allergy, particularly in kids with eczema”. (Fox says there is a direct relationship between a baby having eczema and the chances of them having a food allergy.)

The adults Till sees are those whose allergies started in childhood (people are more likely to grow out of milk or egg allergies, than peanut allergies, for instance) or those with allergy that started in adolescence or adulthood.

Again, it is not clear why you can tolerate something every your life and then develop an allergy to it. It could be to do with our changing diets in recent decades.

“The commonest new onset severe food allergy I see is to shellfish, and particularly prawns,” says Till. “It’s my own observation that the types of food we eat has changed fairly a lot in recent decades as a result of changes in the food industry and supply chain.” He says we are now eating foods such as tiger prawns that we probably didn’t eat so often in the past.

He has started to see people with an allergy to lupin flour, which comes from a legume in the same family as peanuts, which is more commonly used in continental Europe but has been increasingly used in the UK.

Sesame – thought to own been the cause of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s reaction – is another growing allergen, thanks to its inclusion in products that are now mainstream, such as hummus. One problem with sesame, says Till, is: “It often doesn’t show up extremely well in our tests, so it can be hard to gauge just how allergic someone is to it.”

Fox says it’s significant to stress that deaths from food allergy are still rare.

“Food allergy is not the leading cause of death of people with food allergies – it’s still a extremely remote risk,” says Fox. “But of course you don’t desire to be that one who is incredibly unlucky, so it causes grand anxiety.

What type of allergies do i have

The genuine challenge of managing kids with food allergy is it’s really hard to predict which of the children are going to own the bad reactions, so everybody has to act as if they might be that one.”

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harming the body.

Substances that cause allergic reactions — such as some foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines — are known as allergens.

Allergies are a major cause of illness in the United States.

Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, own some type of allergy. In fact, allergies cause about 2 million missed school days each year.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Other Common Allergens

  1. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  2. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  3. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions.

For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There’s no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed. The best way to manage with them is to avoid the allergens. That means that parents must educate their kids early and often, not only about the allergy itself, but also about the reactions they can own if they consume or come into contact with the allergen.

Telling every caregivers (childcare staff, teachers, family members, parents of your child’s friends, etc.) about your child’s allergy is also important.

If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t assist, doctors might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays.

(Many of these also are available without a prescription.)

In some cases, doctors recommend allergy shots(immunotherapy) to assist desensitize a person to an allergen. But allergy shots are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They’re not used for food allergies.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  2. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  3. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  4. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  5. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  6. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:

  1. stuffy nose
  2. sneezing
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  2. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  3. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
  4. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
  5. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow.

    Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.

  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others.

    What type of allergies do i have

    Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Food Allergies

Kids with food allergies must completely avoid products made with their allergens. This can be tough as allergens are found in numerous unexpected foods and products.

Always read labels to see if a packaged food contains your child’s allergen.

Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state in understandable language whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens. This label requirement makes things a little easier. But it’s significant to remember that «safe» foods could become unsafe if food companies change ingredients, processes, or production locations.

Cross-contamination means that the allergen is not one of the ingredients in a product, but might own come into contact with it during production or packaging. Companies are not required to label for cross-contamination risk, though some voluntarily do so.

What type of allergies do i have

You may see statements such as «May contain…,» «Processed in a facility that also processes…,» or «Manufactured on equipment also used for ….»

Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label for it, it’s always best to contact the company to see if the product could contain your child’s allergen. Glance for this information on the company’s website or email a company representative.

Cross-contamination also can happen at home or in restaurants when kitchen surfaces or utensils are used for diverse foods.

Allergies to cacao (the bean that is the main ingredient in chocolate) are possible, but they're incredibly rare — so rare that they don't even show up in recent medical literature.

Therefore, if you've experienced food allergy symptoms after eating chocolate, you can safely assume that another ingredient in the chocolate is causing your symptoms unless testing shows otherwise.

If you do experience allergy symptoms, call your doctor as soon as possible to discuss testing. Symptoms of anaphylaxis represent an emergency; take epinephrine immediately, if available, and call for an ambulance.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy.

For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites. It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.

ENThealth

ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip.

As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.

In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on a flight from London to Nice, suffering a fatal allergic reaction to a baguette bought from Pret a Manger. At an inquest, the court heard how Natasha, who was 15 and had multiple severe food allergies, had carefully checked the ingredients on the packet. Sesame seeds – which were in the bread dough, the family later found out – were not listed.

“It was their fault,” her dad Nadim said in a statement. “I was stunned that a large food company love Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die.”

This horrifying case highlights how careful people with allergies need to be, as do the food companies – not least because allergies own been growing in prevalence in the past few decades.

“Food allergy is on the rise and has been for some time,” says Holly Shaw, nurse adviser for Allergy UK, a charity that supports people with allergies.

Children are more likely to be affected – between 6 and 8% of children are thought to own food allergies, compared with less than 3% of adults – but numbers are growing in westernised countries, as well as places such as China.

“Certainly, as a charity, we’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we get, from adults and parents of children with suspected or confirmed allergy,” says Shaw. Certain types of allergy are more common in childhood, such as cow’s milk or egg allergy but, she says: “It is possible at any point in life to develop an allergy to something previously tolerated.”

Stephen Till, professor of allergy at King’s College London and a consultant allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital believe, says that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system inappropriately recognises something foreign as a bug, and mounts an attack against it.

“You make antibodies which stick to your immune cells,” he says, “and when you get re-exposed at a later time to the allergen, those antibodies are already there and they trigger the immune cells to react.”

Allergies can own a huge impact on quality of life, and can, in rare cases such as that of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, be fatal. There is no cure for a food allergy, although there has been recent promising work involving the use of probiotics and drug treatments.

The first trial dedicated to treating adults with peanut allergy is just starting at Guy’s hospital.

“There is a lot of work going on in prevention to better understand the weaning process, and there’s a lot of buzz around desensitisation,” says Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals. Desensitisation is conducted by exposing the patient to minuscule, controlled amounts of the allergen. It’s an ongoing treatment though, rather than a cure.

“When they stop having it regularly, they’re allergic again, it doesn’t change the underlying process.”

What we do know is that we are more allergic than ever. “If you ponder in terms of decades, are we seeing more food allergy now than we were 20 or 30 years ago? I ponder we can confidently tell yes,” says Fox. “If you glance at the research from the 1990s and early 2000s there is beautiful excellent data that the quantity of peanut allergy trebled in a extremely short period.”

There has also been an increase in the number of people with severe reactions showing up in hospital emergency departments.

In 2015-16, 4,482 people in England were admitted to A&E for anaphylactic shock (although not every of these will own been below to food allergy). This number has been climbing each year and it’s the same across Europe, the US and Australia, says Fox.

Why is there this rise in allergies? The truth is, nobody knows. Fox doesn’t believe it is below to better diagnosis. And it won’t be below to one single thing. There own been suggestions that it could be caused by reasons ranging from a lack of vitamin D to gut health and pollution. Weaning practices could also influence food allergy, he says. “If you introduce something much earlier into the diet, then you’re less likely to become allergic to it,” he says.

A 2008 study found that the prevalence of peanut allergy in Jewish children in the UK, where the advice had been to avoid peanuts, was 10 times higher than that of children in Israel, where rates are low – there, babies are often given peanut snacks.

Should parents wean their babies earlier, and introduce foods such as peanuts? Fox says it’s a “minefield”, but he advises sticking to the Department of Health and World Health Organization’s line that promotes exclusive breastfeeding for six months before introducing other foods, “and to not delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut and egg beyond that, as this may increase the risk of allergy, particularly in kids with eczema”.

(Fox says there is a direct relationship between a baby having eczema and the chances of them having a food allergy.)

The adults Till sees are those whose allergies started in childhood (people are more likely to grow out of milk or egg allergies, than peanut allergies, for instance) or those with allergy that started in adolescence or adulthood. Again, it is not clear why you can tolerate something every your life and then develop an allergy to it.

It could be to do with our changing diets in recent decades.

“The commonest new onset severe food allergy I see is to shellfish, and particularly prawns,” says Till. “It’s my own observation that the types of food we eat has changed fairly a lot in recent decades as a result of changes in the food industry and supply chain.” He says we are now eating foods such as tiger prawns that we probably didn’t eat so often in the past.

He has started to see people with an allergy to lupin flour, which comes from a legume in the same family as peanuts, which is more commonly used in continental Europe but has been increasingly used in the UK. Sesame – thought to own been the cause of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s reaction – is another growing allergen, thanks to its inclusion in products that are now mainstream, such as hummus.

One problem with sesame, says Till, is: “It often doesn’t show up extremely well in our tests, so it can be hard to gauge just how allergic someone is to it.”

Fox says it’s significant to stress that deaths from food allergy are still rare. “Food allergy is not the leading cause of death of people with food allergies – it’s still a extremely remote risk,” says Fox. “But of course you don’t desire to be that one who is incredibly unlucky, so it causes grand anxiety.

The genuine challenge of managing kids with food allergy is it’s really hard to predict which of the children are going to own the bad reactions, so everybody has to act as if they might be that one.”

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harming the body.

Substances that cause allergic reactions — such as some foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines — are known as allergens.

Allergies are a major cause of illness in the United States.

Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, own some type of allergy. In fact, allergies cause about 2 million missed school days each year.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Other Common Allergens

  1. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  2. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  3. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions. For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen.

And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There’s no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed. The best way to manage with them is to avoid the allergens. That means that parents must educate their kids early and often, not only about the allergy itself, but also about the reactions they can own if they consume or come into contact with the allergen.

Telling every caregivers (childcare staff, teachers, family members, parents of your child’s friends, etc.) about your child’s allergy is also important.

If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t assist, doctors might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays.

(Many of these also are available without a prescription.)

In some cases, doctors recommend allergy shots(immunotherapy) to assist desensitize a person to an allergen. But allergy shots are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They’re not used for food allergies.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  2. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  3. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  4. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  5. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  6. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:

  1. stuffy nose
  2. sneezing
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  2. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based.

    What type of allergies do i have

    Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  3. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
  4. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
  5. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow.

    Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.

  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others. Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Food Allergies

Kids with food allergies must completely avoid products made with their allergens.

This can be tough as allergens are found in numerous unexpected foods and products.

Always read labels to see if a packaged food contains your child’s allergen. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state in understandable language whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens. This label requirement makes things a little easier. But it’s significant to remember that «safe» foods could become unsafe if food companies change ingredients, processes, or production locations.

Cross-contamination means that the allergen is not one of the ingredients in a product, but might own come into contact with it during production or packaging.

Companies are not required to label for cross-contamination risk, though some voluntarily do so. You may see statements such as «May contain…,» «Processed in a facility that also processes…,» or «Manufactured on equipment also used for ….»

Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label for it, it’s always best to contact the company to see if the product could contain your child’s allergen.

Glance for this information on the company’s website or email a company representative.

Cross-contamination also can happen at home or in restaurants when kitchen surfaces or utensils are used for diverse foods.

Allergies to cacao (the bean that is the main ingredient in chocolate) are possible, but they're incredibly rare — so rare that they don't even show up in recent medical literature.

Therefore, if you've experienced food allergy symptoms after eating chocolate, you can safely assume that another ingredient in the chocolate is causing your symptoms unless testing shows otherwise.

If you do experience allergy symptoms, call your doctor as soon as possible to discuss testing. Symptoms of anaphylaxis represent an emergency; take epinephrine immediately, if available, and call for an ambulance.


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