Each year, nearly 200,000 people visit a 24 hour emergency clinic due to anaphylaxis, a serious and potentially deadly allergic reaction to food. Broken down incrementally, that averages out to one person experiencing a severe allergic reaction to food every three minutes. Considering that food is supposed to function as a source of health, energy, and nourishment for our bodies, an astonishingly high amount of people are harmed by the intake of specific foods. Highland Park Emergency Room are ready to help.
Food Allergies are Increasing, and the Reasons are Unclear
A recent statistic put out by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network estimates that between 12 million and 15 million Americans deal with food allergies to some degree. While no one can pinpoint or outline the exact reasons why food allergies occur, the amount of people who are affected by them has increased steadily over the last few decades. Scientists are quite certain that food allergies are genetic, but exactly which genes they come from is yet an unanswered question. Moreover, many people develop food allergies later on in life, and this has left many allergy experts scratching their heads as to the possible causes.
Top Food Allergies and Intolerances
While we still have many unanswered questions about food allergies, we do have some leads about which foods typically produce allergic responses. The top foods that cause allergic reactions are peanuts, eggs, shellfish, wheat, and dairy. This list is not exhaustive of course, and if you continuously suffer from minor allergic reactions without knowing the cause, it is recommended that you get tested to avoid any future problems that could land you in a 24 hour emergency clinic. Notably, there is a difference between food intolerance and food allergies. Intolerance to wheat, for example, might cause uncomfortable bloating and hives, while a wheat allergy may cause swelling that obstructs breathing completely. Usually, people who suffer from a food intolerance can digest small amounts of the food. People who suffer from a severe allergy, however, may go into shock if they have a bite of the food they are allergic to. Given the risks involved and the dramatic differences between each person, it is very important that individuals with food allergies/intolerances are aware of which foods they react to and how severe the reaction is.
A 24 Hour Emergency Clinic Responds to Anaphylaxis Quickly
At our Highland Park, Lakewood & Preston Hollow Emergency Room locations, we understand how serious an allergic reaction to food can be. These medical emergencies happen unexpectedly, and victims do not always have epinephrine (in the form of an EpiPen) available to calm symptoms. People who suffer from a severe allergic reaction to food should not hesitate; it is important that victims of anaphylaxis visit a 24 hour emergency clinic immediately. Contact Highland Park or Preston Hollow Emergency Room for more information.