Allergies can be a serious problem, but while 20 percent of adults claim to have food allergies, studies have shown that only about 2 percent of them have a true allergy. The rest have an intolerance. So, now you might be thinking, how do I know if I have allergies? These general tips can help you distinguish between an allergy or something else but it is always best to see an allergy doctor to help determine your predicament.
Look for Multiple System Reactions
Food allergies don’t just affect your gastrointestinal system causing cramps, bloating, diarrhea and upset stomach. They also will give you a rash or make it hard to breathe. If it’s only your stomach that has an issue, then it’s probably an insensitivity, intolerance or possibly food poisoning.
Write Down Your Symptoms
Making the determination as to whether you have a cold or virus or nasal allergies can be tricky. Here’s what to look for - green or yellow mucus, fever and joint or muscle pain usually mean a cold. Allergies are indicated by itchy, watery eyes that may be red, sneezing, clear nasal discharge or scratchy nose, ears or throat. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of adults are affected by nasal allergies, but the good news is an allergy treatment plan reduces symptoms in 85 percent of those cases.
Take Note of Timing
The time of year or duration that you’re affected can be a clue to figuring out the cause of your symptoms. If symptoms last for a few weeks to a few months, that’s usually not a cold. If your symptoms are worse when pollen or mold counts are high, such as spring and autumn months, you’re probably looking at an allergy. Sometimes it’s not that clear-cut. If you’re having symptoms all the time, year-round, then you need to figure out if it’s an indoor allergy caused by something like pet dander, cockroaches or dust mites.
See an Allergist
If you’re still saying, how do I know if I have allergies - it might be time to see a specialist. An allergist can test for common allergens with a basic skin test. A doctor can also be especially effective when dealing with a skin allergy from contact with an unknown substance. There’s a difference between allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis, but they both irritate the skin in the same manner. A doctor can tell you if you’re having an immune response and help you come up with an allergy treatment plan.
If you’re looking for at-home treatments to reduce allergy symptoms, America’s Allergist has a video that could help. Check out our website and get back on the path to wellness.
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