Not necessarily. IgE-mediated food allergy symptoms can be immediate, typically occurring within minutes up to 2 hours after exposure. The most common IgE-mediated food allergens are milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish. (Note: IgE is an antibody. We make other antibodies that are part of the immune system and protect us from getting sick; for example, when we get a tetanus vaccine, we make IgG antibodies that protect us in the future from a tetanus infection. When IgE antibodies are made to a food, they can cause usually rapid onset allergic reactions including hives, swelling, or anaphylaxis.)
Learning how to recognize an allergic reaction will help you get your child the medical care needed if a reaction occurs. Symptoms might include a runny nose; an itchy skin rash; a tingling in the tongue, lips, or throat; swelling; stomach pain; or wheezing.
A serious allergic reaction with widespread effects on the body is known as anaphylaxis. This sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires epinephrine include:
- A sensation of tightness in the throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Any symptoms from two or more of the body systems, such as hives and stomach pain, or any other combination of two or more symptoms that affect different parts of the body
Other types of food allergy, called non-IgE mediated food allergy, can have delayed reactions occur more than 2 hours after ingestion. A common non-IgE mediated food allergy is call food protein-induced enterocolitis (FPIES). Patients with FPIES most often develop severe vomiting and/or diarrhea 2-4 hours after food ingestion. Another example of a non-IgE mediated food allergy is celiac disease.
See more about the signs and symptoms of food allergies and check out this helpful infographic about food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, make sure they are prepared to stay safe at school as well.
Learn more about food allergies and how the pediatric experts at Children’s Colorado can help.