Food allergies can ruin the pleasure of eating some of your favorite foods, but understanding the impact and importance of restricting your diet and managing symptoms can have lasting health benefits that are worth the sacrifice.

If you feel that food allergies are an issue, consider the taking the following measures:

·      First, learn the most common food-related allergies and how to respond if you suspect you are having an allergic reaction.

Lactose, dairy, nuts, seafood, and gluten are the most prevalent public food allergens.

Testing through your doctor is the first course of action if you believe you are allergic to these foods. Understand that even if you receive a negative result, you may still experience a flareup of symptoms when you eat these foods because you are sensitive to them on some level. To understand which foods bother you, the most effective method involves a 3-4 week elimination diet. The diet eliminates and reintroduces foods, while monitoring the improvement or worsening of symptoms.

·      Next, learn what steps to take for your health after you know that you do have a food allergy.

Be aware that inflammation can result from consistent exposure to problem foods. Chronic inflammation harms the body and leads to serious health problems as time goes on.

Avoid foods that cause allergic reactions. Seek a physician’s help if you are unsure how to reduce exposure. A nutritionist can help you come up with some enjoyable, safe, healthy food options that won’t trigger a response.

·      Finally, consider your allergies a long-term situation.

Most allergies stay with a person their whole lives. People with an anaphylactic food response should be vigilant and stay away from that allergen. Milder allergies often intensify over a person’s lifetime. Regardless of intensity, exposure could result in unwelcome inflammation, leading to hidden damage to your health. Generally, it is best to avoid exposure and carry an Epi-Pen, in case of inadvertent exposure.

Though giving up your favorite foods may be disappointing, the improved health and energy retained make many allergy sufferers feel better about the restrictions.

Read the full article here: I’m Allergic… What Should I Eat, Then? | Julie Chen, M.D.