Food Allergy

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KEY CLINICAL POINTSFood AllergyFood allergy, which affects 15 million Americans, has a substantial effect on many aspects of daily living.Peanuts are the most common food allergen associated with fatal and near-fatal anaphylaxis.Obtaining an appropriate medical history and collaborating with an allergist to interpret the results of clinical tests are important for the diagnosis and management of food allergy.Medical management currently focuses on the following: recognition of signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis; ready availability of an epinephrine autoinjector, with early use when signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis are present, followed by immediate evaluation in an emergency facility for monitoring after use; strict avoidance of culprit food allergens; and education about safe food products.Early introduction of peanuts in the first year of life in many children reduces the risk of peanut allergy considerably.

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