Food Allergies Specialist

Food allergies are becoming more common. New York City residents who have food allergies or sensitivities should make an appointment with Dr. Nejat at the NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for testing and treatment. Appointments are available at offices located in Queens and Manhattan including offices in Upper West Side, Midtown East, and Murray Hill.
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Food Allergies Q & A

How Are Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities Different?

People experience adverse reactions to foods. The difference is that some reactions are the body’s allergic response to a substance and others are non-allergenic. Non-allergenic reactions are known as food intolerances or sensitivities. An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system responds to a substance known as an allergen. Even a small amount of a protein found in food can stimulate an allergic response. A food intolerance occurs when a person lacks the enzymes necessary to fully digest a food product. Lactose intolerance is one the most common food sensitives. Other common substances include caffeine, additives, preservatives, and chemicals found in chocolate or cheese.

What Foods Are Common Allergens?Picture of foods that cause allergies such as bread, strawberries, nuts, milk, eggs, and fruit.

Only a small number of foods cause most food allergies. The most common food items with known allergens include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts

What Symptoms Are Caused by Food Allergies?

Allergic symptoms to foods include hives, diarrhea, vomiting, gas, abdominal cramping, and swelling and itching in the throat and mouth. In severe cases, food allergies can trigger anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a dangerous, whole body allergic reaction characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Flushing, tingling, or warmth in the mouth
  • Feeling of unease or doom
  • Itchy red rashes
  • Lightheadedness
  • Severe sneezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

How Are Food Allergies Treated?

Diagnosis is the first step in treating food allergies. If you suspect a food allergy, make an appointment for testing at the New York Allergy and Sinus Centers. The doctors will run a variety of skin tests, blood work, and, in some cases, exposure testing to determine which foods are causing the reaction. Some patients may be asked to follow an elimination diet where all potential allergens are removed from his or her diet for several weeks or months, and then slowly reintroduced one at a time to determine which foodstuff is responsible for the reactions. Once the allergy is diagnosed, the patient will be advised to avoid that product. In some cases medication may be prescribed to control the allergic reactions or an epinephrine pen will be provided in case of accidental exposure and anaphylaxis.


Our office accepts most health insurance plans. The staff will assist you with any necessary paperwork and other requirements relative to your insurance provider. For your convenience and to save time, feel free to use the on-line appointment feature! Please inquire with our office staff if you have any questions or if you do not see your insurance plan listed.

Beech Street
First Health
Great West Health Care
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Multiplan, Inc.
Oxford United Healthcare

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    "Could not believe what through testing Dr. Nejat had his staff provide me with just to see if I was allergic to anything."

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    "Dr. Nejat first helped me years ago with my allergies. His treatment changed my life. I no longer suffer allergy attacks or sinus infections."

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