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Food Allergy Specialist Near You

Food Allergies

A food allergy is a condition where the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless food protein as a threat, leading to various physical reactions that range from mild discomfort to severe, life-threatening responses. Some of the most common food allergies include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, wheat, fish, and sesame, though any food can cause an allergic reaction.

Patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors, can be affected by food allergies, though they are most commonly diagnosed in children. However, it is possible to develop a food allergy later in life to something previously consumed without issue.

At Buffalo Amherst Allergy, now part of Great Lakes Allergy, our team of allergy specialists is dedicated to creating personalized care plans designed to meet each patient's individual needs. From identifying the specific allergens to managing symptoms with the right food allergy medication, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

If you suspect you or your loved one may have a food allergy, or if you're seeking expert guidance in managing existing food allergies, our team is here to help. With our expert care and accessible services, we are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our patients. Book your appointment today!


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Food Allergy Symptoms, Testing & Treatment

Identifying the signs and symptoms of food allergies is crucial to ensuring proper diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms can vary widely among individuals but typically present within 30 minutes of ingesting the trigger food. These symptoms can include:

  • Skin:Skin reactions are among the most common allergy symptoms and can include itching, hives (welts), and swelling of the face, lips, or other areas of the body.
  • Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can occur with food allergies, but usually are severe and have other symptoms that occur with them.
  • Respiratory: Symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing can occur in patients with food allergies, especially those with underlying asthma.  

Testing for food allergies, like oral food challenges, is critical for both diagnosing and forming a treatment plan. Correct diagnosis and customized treatment plans ultimately empower patients with food allergies to lead safer, healthier lives.

All patients diagnosed with a food allergy will be prescribed an epinephrine autoinjector. Epinephrine is the only medication that can treat and reverse the signs and symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Our team will also train patients and their caregivers on the appropriate use and administration of their epinephrine device.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a food intolerance the same as a food allergy?

No. A food intolerance is not life-threatening and is much more common than a true food allergy. Intolerance occurs when the body has difficulty digesting or processing certain foods, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas.

Skin and blood testing does not help diagnose a food intolerance. If you have chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and are having difficulty pinpointing food triggers, allergy testing is unlikely to be accurate as these symptoms are inconsistent with a food allergy.

In short, food allergies can be life-threatening, and symptoms should occur with every ingestion of the trigger food. If you have a food intolerance, you may still need to avoid or limit certain foods, but it is not considered a medical emergency like a food allergy.

What is a "food challenge," and what does it entail?

A "food challenge" is a diagnostic test used to determine if a person can tolerate a specific food. During the visit,  our trained medical staff will administer "doses" of the challenge food, beginning with a very small amount and gradually increasing to reach the full dose. This process allows us to closely monitor for reactions to the food in question. 

You will be asked to bring the food in question with you to the visit. If the food challenge is for a child, we recommend bringing multiple forms of the food (e.g., for an egg allergy, you might bring scrambled eggs and homemade French toast) to test different preparations.

If at any point you or your child experience symptoms that may indicate an allergic reaction, one of our allergy specialists will promptly evaluate your condition. Should the symptoms confirm an allergic reaction, appropriate medication(s) will be administered to manage the symptoms, and you will continue to be closely monitored.

If no allergic symptoms appear during the testing, we will continue to monitor for an additional one to two hours following the final dose. This extended observation period allows our team to watch for delayed allergic reactions and comprehensively assess your condition.

How should I prepare for a food allergy test?

Our team will call you one week before your appointment to provide detailed instructions on preparing for your or your child's food allergy test. You will need to stop any medications that may interfere with testing about one week before your visit.

On the day of the test, you may be asked to bring the specific food to be tested with you. There are many commercially available extracts for skin testing, but sometimes very specific or rare foods are not available and fresh food is used for the skin test. If you have questions about the availability of testing specific foods, please confirm with our office before your appointment.

How can I schedule food allergy testing near me?

Scheduling food allergy testing with our team is easy! Simply fill out our patient-friendly form to schedule an appointment online, or give us a call at (716) 631-0380. Our experienced team will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

It's Time to Take Control of Your Food Allergies 

Breathe Easier. Live Better. Allergy-Free.