Our doctors can treat non-severe allergies. Book your appointment now and speak with a doctor in minutes.
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Written by Medical Professional
Can be Treated Online
Appointments Available Today
Claudia Jackson (RN)
Dr Adam Abbs
Next Review: Jan 1, 2026
An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance, triggering a process in your body called an allergic reaction. The substances that trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens.
Common allergens include:
Allergic reactions range from being a minor annoyance to severe and even life-threatening.
Common symptoms may include:
Sometimes an allergic reaction can be serious and life-threatening. This is known as anaphylaxis and is a medical emergency.
Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) include:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If you, or someone you know experiences symptoms of anaphylaxis, call an ambulance immediately.
A food allergy is when your immune system overreacts to a perceived threat, in this case, food. Severe food allergies can trigger anaphylaxis which may be life-threatening. People with food allergies often have to carry an injection of epinephrine called an EpiPen in case they unknowingly come into contact with the food they are allergic to.
Food intolerance normally relates to difficulty digesting certain foods. Lactose, a kind of sugar found in dairy products is a common intolerance. Symptoms of food intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea.
Food sensitivity is a poorly understood condition where eating certain foods appears to trigger symptoms like rashes, stomach pain, joint pain, fatigue, and brain fog. Gluten appears to be a common cause of food sensitivity.
Normally, our immune systems defend us against threats like viruses, bacteria, and harmful substances such as toxins. One of the ways our immune system defends us is by producing a chemical called histamine.
When we have an allergy, our body produces histamine in response to a substance that is not dangerous such as pollen, animal dander, or certain foods.
The release of histamine triggers inflammation of the skin, digestive system, sinuses, or the airways of the lungs causing symptoms of an allergic reaction.
What causes allergies is not fully understood, but they tend to run in families. Some types of allergies like food allergies are becoming more common though it isn’t clear why this is the case.
There are several long and short-term treatments for allergies. Some focus on treating allergy symptoms when they occur, some on preventing allergy symptoms, and some on stopping your body from reacting to the allergen in the first place.
The best treatment for you depends on the type of allergy you have and how severe your symptoms are. Talk to a doctor about the best way to manage your allergy.
Treatments for allergies include:
The allergen can be given by injections, drops under the tongue (sublingual immunotherapy), or controlled amounts of the food you are allergic to (oral immunotherapy). Talk to your GP about immunotherapy.
Children often outgrow their allergies as they get older.
An online doctor can help with allergies by asking about your symptoms, helping you to identify what is triggering your allergy, and recommending or prescribing medications to treat your symptoms. They can also recommend some things you can do to reduce your allergy symptoms and suggest further investigations and treatments if needed.
It’s easy to book an appointment with an NHS-trained GP at Medicspot. Simply click the link and select an appointment at a time and day that suits you. Appointments are often available the same day.
A pharmacist can help with allergies by recommending over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, eyedrops, nasal sprays, or topical creams to help relieve your symptoms. A pharmacist can also advise you on when you need to see a GP.
Allergies are an increasingly common condition with a variety of causes. While most allergies are mild and can be managed by avoiding contact with the allergen or over-the-counter medications, some allergies can significantly impact your quality of life and may even be life-threatening.
If you or your child have symptoms of allergies and would like to talk to a doctor, make an appointment today.
NHS: Allergies August 2nd 2022 (Accessed November 25th 2022)
Mayo Clinic: Allergies August 5th 2022 (Accessed November 25th 2022)
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Allergic Reactions September 28th 2020 (Accessed November 25th 2022)
PubMed: Food Allergy April 2018 (Accessed November 25th 2022)
Harvard Health Publishing: Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity: What’s the difference, and why does it matter? January 30th 2020 (Accessed November 25th 2022)
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