Food Allergies Specialist

Travis Sifers, MD -  - Allergy & Immunology

The Center for Allergy & Immunology

Travis Sifers, MD

Allergy & Immunology located in Kansas City, MO & Lee's Summit, MO

Food allergies can be serious or even life-threatening, so proper assessment and treatment are important for your long-term health. At The Center for Allergy & Immunology, with offices in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, Missouri, experienced allergist Travis Sifers, MD, provides comprehensive food allergy assessment and treatment tailored to your needs. To learn how you can build up a tolerance to your food allergens, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.

Food Allergies Q&A

What are food allergies?

A food allergy is an abnormal immune system reaction to a certain food. The most common food allergies include:

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

Generally, food allergies cause symptoms quickly, with the reaction occurring anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating the food in question. 

After you eat the allergenic food, an allergen-specific antibody, IgE, attaches to the food protein. This triggers the release of chemicals that cause an allergic reaction.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

Common symptoms of food allergies include: 

Skin 

Skin symptoms related to food allergies can include hives and angioedema (swelling). 

Eyes

Eye symptoms commonly include watering, redness, and itching.

Nasal 

Food allergies can cause nasal issues that include runny nose (clear discharge), congestion, or itching.

Mouth

Mouth area issues usually include lip and tongue swelling along with itchiness.

Throat

Throat symptoms can include difficulty breathing in, tightness, and difficulty speaking.

Lungs

Lung-related issues usually include difficulty breathing, too-fast breathing, coughing, and wheezing.

Abdominal

Food allergies can cause abdominal cramping and pain as well as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular symptoms of food allergies can include weak pulse and fainting.

Central nervous system

Central nervous system symptoms of food allergies can include sudden restlessness, anxiety, or fainting.

Many people experience several types of symptoms at once. For example, with a peanut allergy you might have lip swelling, breathing difficulties, and weak pulse along with other symptoms.

How are food allergies diagnosed?

Dr. Sifers takes a complete medical history and performs a physical exam. He carefully reviews your diet and the suspected triggers as well as your history of allergic reactions after eating certain foods. 

Skin-prick testing is the most common test for food allergies. But, this test isn't foolproof. And, in some cases, a skin test is impossible. A blood test can potentially help to find the allergy. 

Dr. Sifers also may recommend an oral food challenge, in which you eat small amounts of the suspected allergen at the office under medical supervision. This test can effectively diagnose food allergies and inform an appropriate treatment plan.

How are food allergies treated?

The Center for Allergy & Immunology offers comprehensive food allergy treatment, including oral immunotherapy. With oral immunotherapy, you ingest tiny amounts of the allergen, gradually building the dose until you develop a tolerance to the food. 

Dr. Sifers supervises your oral immunotherapy closely to make sure you’re safe and protected the entire time. 

To learn how you can live safely with food allergies, call The Center for Allergy & Immunology or book an appointment online.