How to cope with food allergy symptoms?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Food allergy symptoms may involve a wide variety of organs (skin, gastrointestinal tract, and eyes) and systems (respiratory, circulatory, and neurological). They are often associated. Their severity ranges from mild to potentially life-threatening reactions and the presentation from acute to chronic.

Recent findings

Food allergies have been the focus of multiple studies, position papers, and guidelines in recent years. They have defined an approach in classifying symptoms as mild to anaphylactic, distinguishing objective from subjective symptoms, and describing their heterogeneity, specific phenotypes or syndromes (e.g., lipid transfer protein syndrome or pollen food syndrome). Cofactors can also influence food allergy reactions. Symptoms of non-IgE-gastrointestinal food allergies, illustrated by eosinophilic esophagitis and food-protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, are also now better understood and defined. Improvement in the knowledge of food allergy symptoms is crucial for correct diagnosis and a personalized treatment approach.

Summary

Through a better description and understanding of symptoms, the diversity of food allergies is now better known. The next step is to harmonize symptom assessment not only for clinicians but also for patients, researchers, and public health stakeholders, to describe food allergy phenotypes and their underlying mechanisms and endotypes, to develop targeted management.

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