Related conditions for individuals with food allergies

The board-certified doctors at the University of Michigan Food Allergy Clinic have specialized training to diagnose and treat all allergy-related conditions and immune disorders.

In addition to food allergy, we can help identify problems that mimic food allergy or are made worse by eating specific foods. We consult with referring doctors and specialists, as needed, to ensure the best coordinated care for your overall health.

Anaphylaxis

A life-threatening allergic reaction triggered by a specific food, drug or insect sting. Symptoms often come on suddenly after exposure and involve more than one part of the body. They can include breathing problems, swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea or even a loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can develop an individualized emergency care plan and prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen® and Auvi-Q™) for anaphylaxis.

Asthma

A lung condition characterized by inflammation and spasm of the airways. This causes problems with breathing, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Triggers can include infections, allergies, exercise, temperature changes or other airway irritants (dust, smoke, fumes, reflux). Patients with both asthma and food allergy are at greater risk for anaphylaxis. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can identify asthma triggers and prescribe a treatment plan.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

A skin condition more common in people with allergies that often starts in early childhood. Symptoms include itching, dry skin, and a chronic red patchy rash that may get worse with infections, temperature changes, detergents or allergen exposure. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can identify eczema triggers and recommend management strategies.

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

A newly recognized allergic disease where specific food proteins produce an elevated number of white blood cells (eosinophils) in the esophagus (tube connecting the stomach to the throat). This causes inflammation and damage to the esophagus, making it difficult to swallow solid foods. Other symptoms include heartburn, vomiting, stomach and chest pain, loss of appetite and poor growth. Allergy testing can help identify trigger foods, but diagnosis and treatment involve a coordinated medical effort.

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)

A newly recognized immune condition with severe food reactions in the gastrointestinal system (small intestine, colon), usually starting in infancy. Symptoms include profuse vomiting and delayed-onset diarrhea within about two hours of eating a food, which can lead to dehydration or shock. The most common triggers are cow’s milk, soy and rice, but any food can cause a reaction, even in trace amounts. FPIES reactions involve a different part of the immune system than true food allergy and are thought to be cell mediated. Michigan's Food Allergy Clinic team is one of a few in the region to diagnose and care for FPIES patients.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

A digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach fluid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. Symptoms can include heartburn, and an acid taste in the mouth. Other less frequent symptoms include difficulty or pain swallowing, chronic sore throat, laryngitis or hoarseness, bad breath and cavities. People with asthma are at higher risk for developing GERD. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can help make a GERD diagnosis and develop a care plan.

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)

An allergic reaction most often caused by seasonal pollen, but also triggered by indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold and pet dander. Symptoms include itchy nose/throat/eyes/roof of mouth, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and watery eyes. There is also a non-allergic form of rhinitis. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can help pinpoint the cause of hay fever and prescribe the best treatment.

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS)

A reaction that a person with hay fever may have to raw fruits and vegetables that contain pollen-like proteins. Symptoms are limited to the mouth/lips/tongue/throat/ear canal. They include localized itching, and a scratchy or burning feeling, which usually go away once a food is swallowed or shortly thereafter. Your Food Allergy Clinic allergist can help diagnose OAS and recommend dietary changes.

Take the next step

We accept physician and self-referrals. To make an appointment with the University of Michigan Food Allergy Clinic or to learn more about our services, please call 888-229-2409.