Food Allergies

Marengo CIMS Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services and fostering patient well-being. As part of our commitment to patient education, we have developed the Marengo CIMS Hospital Medical Encyclopedia—an invaluable online resource designed to empower patients with knowledge about various medical conditions, treatments, and preventive measures. This encyclopedia serves as a trusted and accessible repository of medical information, allowing patients to make informed decisions regarding their health and collaborate more effectively with healthcare professionals.


Food allergies are a significant health concern affecting individuals in India and around the world. In this article, we will delve into the topic of food allergies, specifically focusing on the Indian context. We will discuss the signs and symptoms, classification, causes, triggers, risk factors, types, diagnostic tests, treatments, complications, prevention techniques, and shed light on public figures in India who have been diagnosed with food allergies. Our aim is to provide information in a simple and layman language, making it accessible to everyone.

Signs and Symptoms:

1. Food allergies can manifest with various signs and symptoms, including:

2. Skin Reactions: Skin reactions such as hives (raised, itchy bumps), itching, or eczema may occur after consuming an allergenic food.

3. Respiratory Symptoms: Individuals may experience nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or wheezing.

4. Gastrointestinal Issues: Digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or bloating can be present.

5. Swelling: Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or face, known as angioedema, can occur in severe cases.

Anaphylaxis: In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur, leading to difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention.

What Are Food Allergies?

Food allergies occur when the immune system reacts abnormally to certain proteins present in specific foods. The immune system mistakenly identifies these proteins as harmful substances, triggering an allergic response.

How Are Food Allergies Classified?

Food allergies can be classified based on the type of immune response they elicit:

  • IgE-Mediated Allergy: This is the most common type of food allergy. It involves the production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in response to specific food proteins, leading to allergic symptoms.
  • Non-IgE-Mediated Allergy: In this type of allergy, the immune system reacts differently, without the involvement of IgE antibodies. It can lead to delayed allergic reactions and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Causes and Triggers:

Food allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to certain proteins in food. Common triggers include:

  • Common Allergenic Foods: Some foods are more likely to cause allergies than others. Common allergenic foods include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
  • Cross-Reactivity: Cross-reactivity can occur when proteins in one food resemble proteins in another, causing an allergic reaction in individuals with known allergies. For example, individuals allergic to birch pollen may also react to certain fruits or vegetables due to cross-reactivity.

Risk Factors:

Several factors increase the risk of developing food allergies, including:

  • Family History: Individuals with a family history of allergies, such as asthma, eczema, or food allergies, have a higher risk.
  • Age: Food allergies are more common in children, although they can develop at any age. Many children outgrow their allergies as they get older.
  • Other Allergies: Individuals with existing allergies, such as allergic rhinitis or asthma, are at a higher risk of developing food allergies.

Types of Food Allergies:

Food allergies can vary depending on the specific food protein triggering the immune response. Common types include:

  • Peanut Allergy: Peanuts are one of the most common allergenic foods, and an allergy to peanuts can cause severe reactions.
  • Tree Nut Allergy: Tree nuts, including almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios, can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
  • Milk Allergy: Milk allergy is common in infants and young children. It involves an allergic reaction to proteins found in cow’s milk.

Diagnostic Tests and Treatments:

Diagnosing and managing food allergies involves a comprehensive approach. Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Allergy History and Physical Examination: A healthcare professional will gather detailed information about symptoms, their timing in relation to food consumption, and conduct a physical examination.
  • Skin Prick Test: A skin prick test involves applying small amounts of allergenic proteins to the skin and observing for an allergic reaction. It helps identify specific allergens.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests, such as specific IgE (sIgE) tests, measure the levels of IgE antibodies specific to various allergens. They provide additional information to aid in diagnosis.

Treatment options for food allergies focus on strict allergen avoidance and managing allergic reactions:

  • Allergen Avoidance: The primary treatment for food allergies is avoiding the specific allergenic food(s) that trigger the allergic response. Careful reading of food labels, dining out cautiously, and taking precautions to prevent cross-contamination are essential.
  • Emergency Medications: Individuals at risk of severe reactions may be prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors (commonly known as EpiPens) to be used in case of anaphylaxis.
  • Symptom Management: Over-the-counter antihistamines may help relieve mild allergic symptoms. Consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended for appropriate medication use.

Complications of Food Allergies:

Food allergies can lead to complications such as anaphylaxis, social challenges, nutritional deficiencies, and reduced quality of life. Strict allergen avoidance and preparedness for emergencies can minimize these risks.

Prevention Techniques:

While it may not always be possible to prevent food allergies, certain measures can reduce the risk:

  • Early Introduction of Allergenic Foods: Introducing potential allergenic foods to infants at an appropriate age, as guided by healthcare professionals, may help reduce the risk of allergies.
  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, is associated with a reduced risk of developing food allergies.


Food allergies affect millions of individuals worldwide, and their management requires specialized care and attention. Marengo Asia Hospitals across India has established itself as a leader in providing comprehensive and effective treatment for patients with food allergies. With a focus on accurate diagnosis, personalized management plans, patient education, and a team of experienced allergists, Marengo Asia Hospitals ensures the highest level of safety and expert care for individuals with food allergies.

Accurate Diagnosis

Accurate diagnosis is the cornerstone of effective management for food allergies. Marengo Asia Hospitals employs state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and techniques to identify specific food allergens and determine the severity of the allergic reactions. Through skin prick tests, blood tests, and oral food challenges, their allergists can pinpoint the triggers and develop targeted management strategies tailored to each patient’s needs.

Personalized Management Plans

Once a food allergy is diagnosed, Marengo Asia Hospitals develops personalized management plans for patients. These plans include dietary restrictions, avoidance strategies, and emergency preparedness guidelines. The network’s team of allergists works closely with patients to identify safe alternatives, create customized meal plans, and provide education on reading food labels to ensure patients can confidently navigate their dietary choices. The goal is to empower patients with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively manage their food allergies and prevent severe allergic reactions.

Education and Awareness

Marengo Asia Hospitals places a strong emphasis on patient education and raising awareness about food allergies. Through support groups, workshops, and community outreach programs, they educate patients, their families, and the general public about the signs and symptoms of food allergies, the importance of early recognition, and emergency response protocols. By increasing awareness, Marengo Asia Hospitals aims to promote a safe and inclusive environment for individuals with food allergies.

Emergency Preparedness

Prompt and appropriate management of food allergies requires preparedness for emergency situations. Marengo Asia Hospitals ensures that patients and their families receive comprehensive training in recognizing the signs of an allergic reaction and administering emergency medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors. They also provide patients with personalized emergency action plans, which outline steps to be taken in case of accidental exposure to allergens. This proactive approach equips patients and their caregivers with the necessary tools to respond effectively in critical situations.

Collaboration and Integration

Marengo Asia Hospitals emphasizes collaboration and integration among healthcare professionals to ensure the highest level of care for patients with food allergies. Allergists, dietitians, nutritionists, and other specialists work together to address the multifaceted aspects of food allergies, considering both medical and dietary needs. This integrated approach ensures that patients receive comprehensive care, encompassing accurate diagnosis, personalized management plans, dietary guidance, and ongoing support.

Research and Innovation

As a leading healthcare network, Marengo Asia Hospitals is committed to advancing the understanding and treatment of food allergies through ongoing research and innovation. By collaborating with renowned research institutions and participating in clinical trials, they contribute to the development of new diagnostic tools, treatment options, and preventive strategies. This dedication to research ensures that patients benefit from the latest advancements in the field of food allergy management.

Living with food allergies can be challenging, but Marengo Asia Hospitals is dedicated to providing exceptional care and support for patients across India. Through accurate diagnosis, personalized management plans, patient education, emergency preparedness, collaboration among healthcare professionals, and a commitment to research and innovation, Marengo Asia Hospitals ensures that individuals with food allergies receive the highest level of safety and expert care. With their comprehensive approach and unwavering focus on patient well-being, Marengo Asia Hospitals is a trusted partner in managing food allergies and improving the quality of life for those affected


Contact Us

Marengo CIMS Hospital
Off Science City Road, Sola, Ahmedabad – 380060
Gujarat, INDIA

24×7 Helpline +91 70 69 00 00 00
Phone: 079 4805 1200 or 1008
+91 79 2771 2771 or 72
Fax: +91 79 2771 2770
Mobile: +91 98250 66664 or +91 98250 66668
Ambulance: +91 98244 50000