Adult Food Allergies

by Shuya Wu, MD, Lexington Clinic Allergy/Asthma

When we think of developing allergies to certain foods we typically associate it with children, but the truth is food allergies can start at any age.

Foods that people have eaten for years, without a problem, could suddenly start to cause an allergic reaction. This can be concerning and confusing but there is no need to worry, developing food allergies later is life is not uncommon.

A new food allergy can be difficult to identify, but there are some signs you can look for:

  • Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Repetitive coughing
  • Tight, hoarse throat
  • Trouble swallowing

If you are having trouble breathing or swallowing you should go to the ER immediately to receive care.

The most common foods that cause allergies in adults are peanuts, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. The exact cause behind why some adults develop food allergies isn’t known, but developing these allergies does seem to be more common in women who have been or are pregnant.

If you think you may have developed food allergies contact your primary care provider who can help determine if you need to see an allergist. If you don’t have a primary care provider and would like to establish care, please call (859) 258-4362 or visit

Dr. Wu is board-certified in allergy and immunology and board-certified in pediatrics. She specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders. Her professional interests involve asthma, food allergy, rhinitis, urticaria, atopic dermatitis and immunodeficiency in both adults and children.

Dr. Wu can be reached at (859) 258-5244.


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