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Food Allergy Awareness Week: May 14-20

Find out what ails you.

Find out what ails you.

On Sunday, the ninth annual Food Allergy Awareness Week, sponsored by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, kicks off.

About 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, the greatest perpetrators of which are wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish, also known as “the big eight.”

While a food allergy can be fatal, a food intolerance is less severe and much more common. Symptoms of a food intolerance, which can include mild hives, headaches, and bloating, may take up to a few days to manifest.

To find out if you have a food allergy or intolerance, you can have your skin tested, or you can embark on an elimination diet and food challenge: Under a doctor’s supervision, you’ll omit potentially offending foods for a few weeks, then gradually reintroduce them, one at a time, to see how you react.

Of course, for vegans, forgoing wheat or soy can be a challenge. But resources like Living Without magazine and Food Allergy Survival Guide can help.

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