Food, Drug, and Bee Sting Allergy Treatment Taunton MA

Food, Drug, and Bee Sting Evaluation Saves Lives

Food, drug, and insect sting allergies can be fatal. The following signs and symptoms indicate serious allergies:

  • Oral: itching and/or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat.
  • Skin: general itching and swelling, rashes, eczema, hives, blisters.
  • Respiratory: nasal congestion, sneezing, hoarseness, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath.
  • Digestive: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea.
  • Circulatory: dizziness and/or fainting brought on by a sudden drop in blood pressure, shock, cardiac arrest.

If you experience a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or witness one in someone else, please call 911. Once your acute case resolves, or even if you merely suspect an allergy, you should consult an allergist right away for a food, drug, and bee sting evaluation.

Understanding your food allergies is the key to living without fear

Researchers are not yet sure why the prevalence of food allergies has increased dramatically over the last 20 years or so. There is no cure or officially approved treatment for food allergies. Strict avoidance of your allergen is essential to preventing serious health problems.

food allergy treatment tauton maThe most common food allergens are:

  • Eggs.
  • Milk.
  • Peanuts.
  • Tree nuts.
  • Shellfish.
  • Soy.
  • Wheat.
  • Fish

However, many other foods, such as corn, gelatin, strawberries, spices, seeds, and even meat can cause allergic reactions.

Severe food allergies can result in death, so if you suspect a food allergy, it is important to seek evaluation by an allergist as soon as possible. If you have severe food allergies, you should wear a medical alert bracelet, or tag and carry an epinephrine injector pen at all times.

A food allergy can develop at any age but is more common in infants and children. Food reactions may appear several minutes to several hours after eating. Keeping a diary of all foods eaten may be helpful in identifying patterns.

Our goal at Allergy & Asthma Care is to allow people with food allergies to eat a variety of foods safely and without fear.

Egg allergy and flu vaccines

In the past, people with egg allergies were told to avoid the flu vaccine or have skin testing before getting the vaccine. However, because the risk of reaction is so small, the Centers for Disease Control now recommends vaccination for all individuals even those with an egg allergy without the need for special testing.

Most people with egg allergy should be able to get the vaccine in their primary care physician’s office. However, if either your doctor or you are nervous about getting the vaccine, we are happy to give the vaccine in our office for the first time. However, anyone with a history of an allergic reaction to the flu shot itself should be evaluated by an allergist before any further flu vaccines are given.

Medication allergies are often misdiagnosed

Allergies to medications can be challenging to diagnose and manage. It is often hard to determine whether a reaction is related to a medication, a condition for which the medication has been prescribed, or another problem entirely.

The most common drugs that cause allergies are antibiotics:

  • Penicillin.
  • Penicillin-related drugs such as Augmentin, amoxicillin, and ampicillin.
  • Sulfa-based drugs such as Bactrim, Pediazole, and Septra.

However, almost any drug can cause an allergic reaction. 

For many years, people with possible penicillin allergies were told to avoid penicillin and all related antibiotics. However, many people with a history of a reaction to penicillin do not react to it in the future. In some cases, a previous reaction was not a penicillin allergy to begin with.

If you have been told that you are allergic to penicillin, you can be specifically tested for an accurate diagnosis. The first step is a skin test. If this test is negative, you will take an oral sample under your allergist's supervision.

Up to 90 percent of people who think they have a penicillin allergy find that they do not after testing. They can have this warning removed from their medical records and take a wider variety of antibiotics in the future.

Bee Sting allergies can be well managed with immunotherapy

People may be allergic to the stings of:

  • Bees.
  • Hornets.
  • Wasps.
  • Yellow jackets.
  • Fire ants.

bee sting treatment tauton ma

Insect venom causes localized pain, redness, swelling, and possibly itching in virtually everybody. However, in allergic individuals, insect stings can cause severe reactions and even be fatal. If you experience any reaction beyond irritation at the sting site, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you have severe insect sting allergies, you should wear a medical alert bracelet and carry an epinephrine injector pen at least from March through November. You are typically safe during the winter months when the ground is frozen, but it makes sense to stay safe by carrying your epinephrine all year long.

Allergy shots of pure bee venom have a success rate of about 98 percent. Your allergist may recommend these shots; if not, you can ask whether they might be helpful for you.

Resources for food, drug, and bee sting evaluation