Diagnostic Considerations  and Differential Diagnoses of Food Allergy 


Diagnostic Considerations  and Differential Diagnoses of Food Allergy 

Food allergies are immunologically mediated adverse reactions to foods. Any food protein can trigger an allergic response, and allergic reactions to a large number of foods have been documented; however, only a small group of foods account for most of these reactions. Eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat are the foods most often implicated.

Diagnostic Considerations

Recognize the early signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. Keep in mind that cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms are the most common clinical manifestations of food allergy. Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of food allergies include the following

  • Auriculotemporal syndrome
  • Esophagitis
  • Factitious disorder
  • Food poisoning
  • Acute gastritis
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Bacterial gastroenteritis
  • Viral gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Giardiasis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal motility disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Trichosporon infections
  • Urethral diverticula
  • Urticaria
  • VIPomas
  • Vocal cord dysfunction
  • Wasp stings
  • Whipple disease


Differential Diagnoses

  • Acute Gastritis
  • Acute Urticaria
  • Bacterial Gastroenteritis
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Celiac Disease (Sprue)
  • Chronic Gastritis
  • Clostridium Difficile Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Diverticulitis
  • Dumping Syndrome
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders
  • Esophageal Spasm
  • Esophageal Stricture
  • Esophagitis
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self
  • Food Poisoning
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Giardiasis
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intestinal Motility Disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Trichosporon Infections
  • Urethral Diverticula
  • VIPomas
  • Viral Gastroenteritis
  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction
  • Wasp Stings
  • Whipple Disease
  • Workup
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