Now Hiring! Apply Today!

Insurance Information Nursing Careers

Common Food Allergies

What Are Common Food Allergies? Allergic Reactions and Symptoms

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are over 30 million people in the United States who have a food allergy. A severe allergic reaction to food results in an estimated 90,000 visits to an emergency room each year.

Food allergies can develop at any stage in life so it’s important to be aware of food allergy symptoms and the most common food allergies. In this short guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about food allergies including the most common allergic reactions and their symptoms.

What Are Food Allergies?

Food allergies are a medical condition where specific foods cause an abnormal response from our immune system.

Essentially, the immune system incorrectly recognizes the proteins in a specific food as being harmful. This triggers the body to perform an all-out assault on the seemingly harmful proteins and carry out several protective measures. The most common and problematic response is the release of chemicals such as histamine, which causes inflammation.   

When you have a food allergy, even trace amounts of specific food can be enough to induce an allergic reaction.

Food Allergy Symptoms

While most food allergy symptoms come on quickly after exposure to the problem food, in some cases they might not show until a few hours or even days after exposure. Common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy Rash
  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or face
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Vomiting

In the most severe cases of food allergies, they can cause anaphylaxis, which is potentially life-threatening. 

The Most Common Food Allergies

Some food allergies are more common than others. However, it is possible to develop an allergy to any type of food. Some people are allergic to celery, passion fruit, and even the fluoride that is in most drinking water.

Let’s take a look at the most common food allergies.

Cow’s Milk

An allergy to Cow’s milk is the most common childhood allergy. By the age of three, 90% of children have outgrown the allergy, making it much less prevalent in adults.

There are two types of cow’s milk allergies:

  • IgE (immunoglobulin)
  • Non-IgE 

IgE allergies usually display symptoms within 5-30 minutes of ingesting cow’s milk. Sufferers experience symptoms such as vomiting, hives, swelling, rashes, and occasionally anaphylaxis.

Non-IgE allergies are based more on the gut and present themselves as vomiting, inflammation of the gut wall, constipation and diarrhea.


Eggs are the second most common food allergy in children, but around two-thirds of children will have outgrown the allergy by the time they’re sixteen.

Most people are allergic to just the white of the egg, but others are just allergic to the yoke. Allergic reactions to the proteins in either egg whites or yolks can be severe.


Nut allergies are the most common among children and adults combined. Some people might only be allergic to one type of nut, but if they are it is advised to avoid other nuts as their chances of developing an allergy are increased.

Individuals with severe nut allergies carry epinephrine auto-injector to administer adrenaline due to the high chances of encountering traces of nuts in food. 

When to Visit Your Local Emergency Room

If you suspect that you have one of these common food allergies or any type of allergy then it is important to visit your doctor as soon as possible. 

If you think that you or a loved one might be having an allergic reaction to any type of food then bring them to the emergency room in Bulverde TX or call 911.  

“Allergy Facts and Figures,” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,
“Top 5 Foods that Boost Your Immune System Quickly,” Physicians Premier,
“Anaphylaxis,” American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology