food allergies,Annapolis Allergy & Asthma
Written by chrissy

Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?

After we eat, the food is digested by our body and turned into energy. It is the fuel that keeps us alive and well. Sometimes the food does not get digested properly and our body has an adverse reaction. The most common reactions occur in our gastrointestinal tract in the form of gas, heartburn, or nausea. Sometimes the body has a more severe reaction depending upon whether you have a food intolerance or an allergy.

Food allergies affect a large number of people of all ages. Over ten million people, from newborns to senior citizens, suffer from food allergies in the United States alone. Food allergies are far more dangerous than food intolerances, and can even be life threatening. The human immune system functions as an army protecting our body from uninvited invasions, and when an unwelcome entity is found, the army attacks. Occasionally, our immune system makes a mistake and assumes that something in our food is unwelcome and the army mounts an offensive against that which is meant to provide us with energy; this is a food allergy. The symptoms of food allergies include, but are not limited to, difficulty breathing, a sudden and drastic drop in blood pressure, or rashes, hives or itchy patches on the skin. The majority of all food allergies are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy, and wheat.

Food intolerances occur when your body encounters a challenge in digesting the food. Food intolerance does not necessarily happen every time you eat a certain food, unlike an allergy, which is a reaction that will occur every time. Food intolerances rarely occur when a small amount of the food has been ingested. Most commonly, food intolerance develops over time when a lot of a certain food is eaten or if that food is eaten frequently. Whether you suffer from a food allergy or intolerance can be determined by seeing your doctor and having tests run. There are medications that can be provided in either case, but the best course for avoiding adverse reactions to any type of food, is to abstain from that food all together.

If you have any questions, or to set up an appointment for testing or consultation, visit annapolisallergy.com.

Updated 5/19/20

We remain open and here to serve you during the COVID-19 emergency. We are also committed to the safety of our patients and staff. Thus, our providers, Dr. Gels and Uwe Reichmann PA, have been diagnosing and treating all patients, whether new or return patients via telehealth. Use your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop. We have also been busy answering phone messages, emails and faxes to our office. 

Testing: We are pleased to announce that we will begin skin testing in the office as of 5/25/20. Patients will first be screened by a telehealth visit with one of our providers to decide the extent of testing. This will be then followed by an in-office visit for the testing, done via sterile technique. To minimize your time in the office, a follow up telehealth visit with the provider will be scheduled to review your results in detail.

Injections: We are now giving allergy shots BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, for your safety. Please come directly up to our office on time so that no one waits before their injection (call ONLY if late). If you haven’t had an allergy shot for a while, you will be scheduled to see Uwe to determine your dose the day of your shot. Patients are then observed for reactions in isolated rooms, then exit the back doorway. We are making allergy serum if you need it. Call us the day before to address insurance, payments, etc. to streamline your visit. We request you keep a credit card on file to streamline the process. Those on immune therapy will continue their treatments (Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent).

Office Policy: We follow CDC and specialty guidelines. Please, only ONE person in the office at a time, and one adult per minor. All patients (and staff) are being screened for illness (fever, etc.) and exposure to COVID. All staff and patients are required to wear a mask (school aged and above). Please bring a personal mask from home: due to the shortage, we cannot routinely provide patients with masks.  NO MASK, NO SHOT.  If you have asthma, bring your albuterol inhaler with you. 

This is allergy season! Pollen is now peaking for many trees. If you have allergy symptoms, we are here for you! We can diagnose and treat over video and send prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically.

Contact us via phone (410-573-1600) or on the portal on this webpage to see our providers. Let us make an appointment when it is convenient for you.

Annapolis Allergy & Asthma, LLC