Study shows rise in sudden, severe food allergies among adults

New York, N.Y. (NBC) – Imagine you are out to dinner, enjoying your favorite dish, and then suddenly–you have trouble breathing.

You are having a severe allergic reaction to a food you’ve loved for years, and you aren’t alone.

A new study finds that severe allergic reactions to food in adults have gone up sharply, more than 300% in the last decade.

Researchers haven’t found conclusive evidence as to why this is happening. But they say it the reactions are occurring quickly and without any warning.

Food allergies are different than food intolerance and the reaction to a food allergy in an adult can be much more severe than the reaction in a child.

Allergist Dr. Jonathan Hemler explained, “It’s very concerning so yeah we don’t really have a good explanation as to why this is happening but the other thing that we found is that going along with the increase in food allergy we’re also seeing more severe anaphylaxis events happening where adults have to go to the emergency room to get treatment for a severe life threatening allergic reaction which is very concerning.

“We really don’t have a way to predict and know what happens when you eat a food. in fact, when someone has been diagnosed with a food allergy often tell them that even if you just had a couple of hives the first time you ate the food it could be full blown anaphylactic shock the next time. There is no way to know what will develop.”

Wednesday night on Nightly News, Kristen Dahlgren looks at what might make you more prone to developing food allergies, and what type of diet you might want to consider. She’ll also tell you what types of food adults are most likely to become allergic to suddenly.

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