A patient with a food allergy may experience an exacerbation of asthma following exposure to the triggering food. It is more commonly seen in children but can be seen in adults.


Clinical findings suggesting the possibility of asthma being triggered by a food allergy:

(1) acute exacerbation of asthma without other obvious explanation

(2) noticing that an asthma attack occurs soon after eating certain foods

(3) presence of asthma and findings seen in food allergies such as atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis or gastrointestinal symptoms


Foods implicated may include:

(1) eggs

(2) milk

(3) peanuts or other nuts

(4) shrimp or shellfish

(5) fish

(6) wheat

(7) sulfite

(8) preservatives

(9) spices


If a food allergy is suspected then the patient can be tested for food allergy by skin testing, RAST or other procedure. Sometimes a food challenge test is performed; all suspected foods are removed from the diet and then some are added back to the diet to see if symptoms can be elicited.


Ideally asthma attacks will be prevented by exclusion of the implicated food from the diet.


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