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Spot the symptoms for Allergy Awareness Week

Main image 26 April, 2016

It’s Allergy Awareness Week; this year the campaign is working to draw attention to what it’s like to live with a serious allergy and help bridge the knowledge gap when it comes to public understanding.  

While once obscure, it’s now common for classrooms to have restrictions around brining milk, nuts and eggs into schools. According to Allergy UK, nearly 1 in 12 children suffer from a food allergy that can put them at serious risk. Spotting the symptoms is essential.

Symptoms of a food allergy

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to food almost always develop within minutes of eating the food.  

The most common type of allergic reaction to food is an IgE-mediated food allergy. These often create mild to moderate symptoms and are easy to spot because symptoms develop shortly after the food is eaten. The symptoms for this include things like:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Red, itchy or raised red rash
  • Swelling of the face, mouth or body – particularly lips, eyes and face
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling sick, dizzy and lightheaded
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain or diarrhoea
  • A runny or blocked nose, sneezing, watering eyes

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child after eating, take note of what they were eating and avoid those foods until you’ve seen a doctor.  


Anaphylaxis is a severe and sudden allergic reaction that can get worse very quickly and be life-threatening to sufferers. Symptoms develop within seconds or minutes of coming into contact with the substance. 

Many of the symptoms listed above will be similar with anaphylaxis but will be more severe and can quickly lead to:  

  • Sudden anxiety and fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sharp drop in blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing – wheezing, chest tightness similar to a severe asthma attack
  • Unconsciousness

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency – if you recognise any of the symptoms dial an ambulance as quickly as possible.  

Testing for allergies at YourGP

Food allergies can be extremely distressing for parents, but the good news is you don’t need to live in the dark – a simple allergy test can rule in or out any food allergies, along with a range of other common intolerances. 

At our private practice in Edinburgh we offer a comprehensive allergy testing service that can help identify allergies to over 500 substances, from the most common allergens to the most obscure.

If you want to find out more about allergies, or want to get tested for an allergy, use our online booking form to book a consultation, call us on 0131 225 5656 or email our reception team at reception@your.gp.



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