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Sudden allergies in adults may spark rise in food allergy testing

Category: Allergy Testing

Although most people develop food allergies as children, adults are not out of the woods. Grown men and women are still capable of developing allergies at any point, one doctor says.

Dr Vincent Oswunda, an Edmonton allergist and immunologist, points out that allergies to sulphites are most commonly diagnosed in adults - even those who have never experienced food allergies in the past, the Vancouver Sun reports. Sulphites, the chemical additives used to prevent foods from spoiling, affect only 1 percent of the adult population, but often take their victims by surprise.

Oswunda explains that allergies may develop in childhood and lay dormant until a grown adult is exposed to the allergen. For instance, a sulphite allergy may only manifest itself when the individual begins to consume wine, beer and dried fruits that typically contain the preservative. Prior to consuming these foods, a food allergy test would be among the only methods of diagnosing the condition.

Dr Oswunda warns that "You can start having allergic reactions at any age and at any time."

The range of reactions to food allergens spans from small headaches to a possibly deadly reaction known as anaphylaxis which causes breathing problems and a severe drop in blood pressure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 12 million Americans have food allergies today.
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