Hills Allergy and Specialists Clinic

Food and Other Allergies

Allergy occurs when a person reacts to substances present in food or environment that are harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in food, dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, moulds, and some medications.

Atopy is the genetic tendency of a person to develop allergic diseases. When atopic people are exposed to allergens, they can develop an allergic/immune reaction. Depending on what a person is allergic to, the following symptoms can develop:

SYMPTOMS of an allergic reaction to food?

Food allergy (IgE mediated allergy) occurs in around 10% of infants, 4-8% of children, and about 2% of adults in Australia. The most common food allergens are egg, cow's milk (dairy), wheat, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy, fish, and shellfish. Almost any substance that is eaten (including herbal medicine) can trigger an allergic reaction.

If you are allergic to a food, symptoms usually start within minutes to an hour of exposure to the food you are allergic to. The symptoms can be mild to moderate or severe. Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can be life threatening and needs immediate treatment.

Signs and symptoms of mild to moderate allergic reaction include:

Signs and symptoms of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis):

Mild or moderate food allergic reactions are common in Australia. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) due to food allergy are less common and deaths from anaphylaxis are rare.

Most deaths from anaphylaxis can be prevented by:

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES):

FPIES is a delayed (non-IgE mediated) gut allergic reaction to a food or foods. It usually presents with repetitive, profuse vomiting that typically starts one to four hours after a triggering food is eaten. Some babies can become floppy, pale, cold and develop diarrhoea.

The most common triggers for FPIES are cow’s milk, rice, oat, and egg, however, any food can trigger FPIES,

SYMPTOMS of an allergic reaction to environmental allergens?

Allergic rhinitis (commonly known as Hay Fever) affects around 18% of people (children and adults) in Australia. The symptoms are caused by allergy to dust mites, pets, pollen, or moulds.

Symptoms range from mild to severe and can affect day to day function. Symptoms may occur throughout the year, seasonal or exposure to a particular allergen such as animal dander. It is important to note that allergic rhinitis is not caused by a food allergy.

Immediate signs or symptoms

Obstructive signs or symptoms

Our specialists can assess your child for these conditions and discuss a management plan.

Children and Adult Allergy Services are Available at Our Norwest Clinic