Free, Family-Friendly, Fun: FAST
Online since 1997!

Advice and Support
E-mail FAST
FAST Handbook
FAST Journal
Friends of Food Allergics
Get Involved
Just for Fun
Kids and Teens
Mailing List
Parents' Corner
Personal Stories
Printable Resources
Search FAST
Site Information, etc.

Food Allergy Signs and Symptoms
by Kenny Silverman

Food allergies can present themselves in many different ways. Unfortunately, most physicians were not trained well enough to understand the impact that food has on the body. Even most allergists and dermatologists are not up to date on understanding how food allergies present themselves.

If you have ever had constant problems that never seemed to go away, yet your physician gave you a blank stare which you interpreted as them thinking "you're crazy", then join the club. While food allergies could be the problem, many typical food allergy signs and symptoms can be caused by other conditions.

Food allergies can cause havoc with your body, and signs and symptoms could be triggered by ingestion, inhalation, or by touching the allergen. The signs and symptoms can range from a runny nose to hives, or could get as serious as difficulty with breathing, or even a life threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Food allergy signs and symptoms can also be very esoteric, and can impact your thought process, concentration, or even cause dizziness. Food allergy symptoms can also cause seemingly unrelated symptoms, making the diagnosis ever harder.

The severity of symptoms is different for everyone. And on top of all that, food allergy signs and symptoms can be delayed for up to three days from the time you ate! If people get sick, they most often assume it was something in their last meal, but who knows -- it could have been something eaten three days ago!

So the next time your physician thinks you're crazy, take a look at our list of signs and symptoms and have him/her look into the possibility of food allergies.

The following list was compiled from the inputs of FAST list members. The list is far from inclusive, but most of these problems show up on a consistent basis among members. Based on all the research I've done regarding food allergies, all of these signs and symptoms are fairly well known. Most current food allergy books support the personal experiences of FAST members.

Child vs. Adult Reactions: In most cases, children and adults have the capacity for similar food allergy signs and symptoms. For those cases that seem to be limited to children, notes have been made. Consult your physician if you have questions.

This following list was compiled by FAST members: Melissa, Ygg, Amy, Jen, Cindy, Bid, Michelle, Shirley, Lynn, Dorothy, Laura, Sue, Sharon, Juliann, Janice, Jennifer, Miche, Joy, Judy, Kenny, and a few other helpers who didn't sign their name.



 Respiratory problems: Asthma, wheezing, and shortness of breath

 Swallowing difficulty, sore throat

 Throat-swelling (constriction)

 Mucus in throat, post nasal drip



 Sinus problems (runny nose, stuffed nose, hay-fever symptoms)


 Behavior changes: depression, agitation, anger, hyperactivity, irritability, crankiness, restlessness

 Sleeping difficulty, insomnia, waking up at night

 Lethargy, fatigue, drowsiness, sleepiness, tiredness

Facial / Eyes:

 Black circles under eyes (allergic shiners)

 Puffy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes

 Vision blurred

 Blepheritis (mucous/bacterial buildup in eye)

Skin / Topical:

 Eczema, dry skin (possibly in form of diaper rash in infants)

 Hives, bumps, blisters

 Itchiness (mouth, face, throat; any part of the body)

 Infected skin

 Cradle cap (infants)

 Rashes, red skin (many different descriptions)

 Flushed skin, flushed ears

 Sensitive skin (looks normal, but welts when scratched)


 Swelling of: mouth, throat, tongue, uvula, lips (a.k.a. Oral Allergy Syndrome)

 Swelling of any part of body

 Tingling in: lips, mouth, tongue, throat

 Cold sores, blisters in throat


 Muscle aches, fatigue, pain, or tremors

 Loss of strength

 Joint pains




 "Brain fog" -- including memory loss, concentration problems, or difficulty thinking

 Dizziness (light headedness), change in blood pressure


GI / Bowel:

 Bowel problems -- diarrhea, constipation, cycling between diarrhea and constipation

 Stool is bloody, hemorrhoids

 Intestinal cramping, pain (stomach cramps)

 Upset stomach, vomiting, stomach ache

 Stomach bloating, gas, colicky (infant)

 Reflux, heartburn


 Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis


 Anus red spot (few cm. Diameter) (infant/child)

 Excessive drooling (infant/child)

 Encopresis (soiling of underwear) (infant/child)


 Craving for foods

 Finicky eater, anxiety when being fed (infant/child)

Blood Serum:

 High eosinophil count

 IgE and/or IgG - high serum levels

Hard to Classify, but important!

 Seemingly unrelated health problems

 Weight gain

 Anaphylaxis -- life threatening allergic reaction

 Ear Infections

 Stunted growth, slow growth

 Fever (pyrexia)

 Menstrual irregularities

 Enuresis (bed-wetting) (infant/child)

Remember, just because you have these symptoms it does not mean you have food allergies. You should visit a doctor or hospital if you have any type of persistent symptoms, especially if severe.
This website is for personal support information only. Nothing should be construed as medical advice.