Talking the talk about food allergies and symptoms.

Food allergies and GI issues have a language all their own, and it can be confusing and overwhelming. This glossary is here to help you understand the key terms and be better informed overall.

You can also visit our Symptom Guide to help you identify milk allergy and other GI-related symtpoms so you can discuss them with your doctor and dietitian.

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  • Adverse reaction

    An unwanted effect caused by a drug or food. The reaction may occur suddenly or develop over time.

    Adverse reaction Definition
  • Allergens

    A substance that causes an allergic reaction. The most common food allergens are the proteins found in milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts), peanuts, wheat and soy.

    Allergens Definition
  • Allergic colitis

    A condition in infants where food allergies cause inflammation of the colon. Babies with allergic colitis typically have stools with flecks or streaks of blood and may develop other symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

    Allergic colitis Definition
  • Amino acid

    The basic building block of proteins. Amino acids link together in chains to form proteins.

    Amino acid Definition
  • Amino acid formula

    A hypoallergenic formula for infants and children where the protein is based on amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Amino acid formulas are effective in cow milk allergy (CMA), multiple food protein intolerance (MFPI) and other food allergy related conditions such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), atopic dermatitis or short bowel syndrome (SBS).

    Amino acid formula Definition
  • Anaphylaxis

    A serious allergic reaction that develops rapidly and affects multiple areas of the body at once. In some severe cases, it can lead to anaphylactic shock, a potentially life-threatening event.

    Anaphylaxis Definition
  • Antibody

    A protective substance produced by your immune system to fight infections or other foreign substances in the body.

    Antibody Definition
  • Antigen

    Any substance that causes an immune response in the body by producing antibodies. Antigens may or may not lead to an allergic reaction.

    Antigen Definition
  • Arachidonic acid (ARA):

    An important nutrient (more specifically, a fat) for healthy infant growth and development, found naturally in breast milk. Studies have shown that a direct consumption of ARA, along with DHA, will promote your baby’s visual and brain development.

    Arachidonic acid (ARA): Definition
  • Asthma

    A very common chronic disorder related to inflammation and swelling that causes the airways to narrow. Typical symptoms include coughing and hissing.

    Asthma Definition
  • Atopic dermatitis

    A chronic inflammation of the skin, creating a red, itchy skin rash with swelling, cracking, weeping, crusting or scaling. Often occurs along with allergies or asthma and frequently runs in families.

    Atopic dermatitis Definition
  • Atopy

    An inherited tendency to develop reactions to allergens like pollen or food, resulting in some form of allergic condition such as hay fever, asthma, atopic dermatitis and hives.

    Atopy Definition
  • Atopy patch test

    An examination to determine sensitivity to a specific allergen. It is performed by laying a patch soaked in a particular allergen on the patient's skin. The test is positive if the skin where the patch was laid shows irritation. These tests are often considered not 100% accurate.

    Atopy patch test Definition