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Half of the people who think they have food allergies are wrong

Newshub logoNewshub 7/01/2019 Sarah Templeton

If you're missing some of your favourite foods because you think they don't agree with you, it might be time to check again. 

A new study out of the US shows that up to half of adults who think they have a severe food allergy could be wrong.

The study, entitled 'Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults' published in the journal JAMA Network Open, reveals that while more than 10 percent of adults are believed to have a food allergy, 19 percent of the population are under the impression that they're allergic to certain foods.

This means potentially millions of adults have drawn their own incorrect conclusions about having a food allergy. 

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"While we found that one in 10 adults have food allergy, nearly twice as many adults think that they are allergic to foods, while their symptoms may suggest food intolerance or other food-related conditions," the study's lead author Dr Ruchi Gupta told the Independent. 

"It is important to see a physician for appropriate testing and diagnosis before completely eliminating foods from the diet. If a food allergy is confirmed, understanding the management is also critical, including recognizing symptoms of anaphylaxis and how and when to use epinephrine."

The researchers worked with over 40,000 people from September 2015 to October 2016, with only 10.8 percent saying they had symptoms consistent with an allergic reaction to food, such as hives, swelling of the lips or throat, and chest pain.

Those who didn't have a convincing food allergy instead reported symptoms like stomach cramps, a stuffy nose, or nausea.

Related slideshow: Foods that may make your allergies worse (provided by Eat This, Not That)

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