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Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when the body reacts to a certain food with an unnecessary immune response, usually within 1 hour of ingesting the offending food.

An allergic reaction to food can quickly become life-threatening. If you have experienced the symptoms listed below after eating or drinking a particular food or drink and have not been evaluated or treated for this before, make an appointment to see a UHS healthcare provider as soon as possible.


Call 911 Immediately if you have any of the following symptoms

  • Swelling of the tongue and/or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe lightheadness/weakness or fainting
  • Itching or tingling sensation in your mouth

Call the UHS Nurse Advice Line (512) 475-6877 (NURS) if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Vomiting/ diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Itchy, water eyes

The most common food allergies for adults are:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Wheat

If you have been diagnosed with a food allergy, you can schedule an appointment with the UHS registered dietitian at (512) 475-8242. Charges apply.

If you are allergic to a specific food, it must be completely eliminated from your diet to prevent symptoms. Continued ingestion of foods that one is allergic to can result in more serious and potentially life-threatening reactions such as anaphylactic shock.

Note: Food intolerance (example: lactose intolerance) is not the same as a food allergy. The problem foods should still be avoided, but intolerances are not as serious as food allergies. Symptoms of food intolerance include gas, bloating, abdominal pain and sometimes diarrhea.