Are you an adult who has recently noticed what seem like symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating certain foods? If so, it may surprise you to learn that the culprit could be a food allergy. Many people don’t realize that food allergies can develop over time. Even if you’ve eaten the same food many times before without experiencing negative effects, it is possible to become allergic at any time, cautionsGo Erie.

While many children with food allergies are likely to outgrow them, becoming able to eat the food safely as an adult, some food allergies do work the other way. This is particularly the case with allergies to shellfish, one of the top 8 most common food allergies among both children and adults.

It is thought that food allergies which develop in adulthood could be caused by a delayed or extended period of sensitization to the allergen. With shellfish, for example, it is theorized that many children do not eat large quantities of shellfish, so the body does not become sensitized to it until they become adults and dine on seafood more frequently. Another explanation could be that the shellfish allergy represents a cross-reaction, tied to another allergy such as seasonal pollen allergies.

If you have been diagnosed with a food allergy in adulthood, or suspect that you have developed a food allergy, plan your means to avoid exposure to the allergen. If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction, carry an EpiPen, which delivers a shot of epinephrine to counteract the symptoms.

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