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Food Allergies Specialist

Richard Firshein, D.O. -  - Integrative Medicine

Firshein Center

Richard Firshein, D.O.

Integrative Medicine & Family Medicine located in Manhattan, Upper East Side, NY

Food allergies affect about 4-6% of children and 4% of adults in the United States, resulting in anything from a minor rash to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. At the Firshein Center, Dr. Richard Firshein is a leading expert on allergies and helps patients on the Manhattan of Upper East Side better control their food allergies through a curated approach that combines evidence-based practices from Eastern and Western medicine. If you suspect that you or your child may suffer from a food allergy, call or book an appointment using the online scheduling tool.

Food Allergies

What are the most common food allergies?

In theory, you can have an allergic reaction to almost anything that comes into contact with your body, whether you ingest it, inhale it, or brush up against it. Still, some allergens are more common than others, which is certainly true of food allergies. The most common food allergies, which make up 90% of all cases, include:

  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Tree nuts

Though these represent the actual foods that may pose a problem, you may have an allergy toward additives that are mixed in with your foods.

What are the signs of a food allergy?

The most common signs of an allergic reaction toward food include:

  • Hives
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

In severe cases, your pulse may weaken, your airways narrow, and you may feel dizzy or faint. This may be anaphylactic shock, and you need to seek emergency care right away.

Most reactions, however, aren’t that extreme and develop within minutes or an hour or two after you’ve eaten.

What causes food allergies?

Food allergies are caused by the same thing that all allergies are caused by — an abnormal response by your immune system. Most of the time, your immune system protects you from foreign invaders quite successfully, but sometimes it mistakenly identifies something (known as an allergen) as being potentially harmful. This response is an overreaction to a substance that’s otherwise harmless.

Researchers are unclear as to why certain people, namely children, develop food allergies, but they believe that genetics and environment play significant roles.

How are food allergies treated?

When you first sit down with Dr. Firshein, he reviews your symptoms, so it’s important that you provide him with as much detail as possible about your diet and your body’s responses. Dr. Firshein then reviews your medical history, orders blood tests, and may perform a digestive analysis. With an on-site lab, he’s quickly able to zero in on the source of your problem and design a personalized plan for you.

Dr. Firshein understands that no two patients are alike, so no two treatments should be alike. Using one, or more, of the following, he customizes a food allergy plan to fit your needs, which may include:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Medications
  • Trigger avoidance programs
  • Nutritional counseling

Dr. Firshein believes that specific nutrients affect how your gut biome interacts with your body and play a role in your inflammatory or allergic responses. By providing comprehensive nutritional counseling, he can help you circumnavigate food allergies successfully.

For a customized approach to your food allergies, call the Firshein Center, or use the online booking tool to request a consultation.