New research shows an estimated 26 million adults have a food allergy in the U.S. That’s one in ten adults. And nearly half developed at least one of their allergies in adulthood like christine.
The study in JAMA Network Open surveyed over 40,000 adults and found shellfish was the most common food allergy in adults, followed by milk, peanut , tree nut, other fish, egg , wheat, soy and sesame.
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dr. Wayne Shreffler works with food allergy research and education.
“Patients need to get a proper diagnosis, so that if they are at risk of severe reactions they are prepared to deal with them . It’s also important because it can be misdiagnosed and people can think they are allergic to the wrong things and avoid foods unnecessarily,” he says.
The study found half of patients with adult onset allergy had very serious reactions that sent them to the emergency room. But researchers also found many adults believe they are allergic to foods when they’re likely suffering from food intolerance or a health condition.