Is it possible to develop food allergy to almost all foods?

Q. I am allergic to almost all foods with swelling in the back of the mouth and throat. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Yermal Tanmai Deelip
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on May 29, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am having severe allergic symptoms to almost every single food I eat and not really sure what to do. For the last year, I have been developing what seems like IgE type allergic reactions to literally every single food I eat. It is getting really bad. These potatoes I have been eating for the past month now cause swelling in the back of my mouth and throat that makes me choke so I had to stop eating them. Other foods cause different types of reactions like frank diarrhea. Please help.

IgE, IgG and IgA antibodies normal, IgE skin prick testing normal, C1 inhibitor slightly low, cortisol low (ACTH stim test not performed), fasting hypoglycemia (testing for insulinoma negative so far), and I have mild heart dysfunction (diastolic).



Welcome to

I have gone through your query and can understand your concern. As you rightly said there might be an allergy for a particular type of food you eat. You may have allergy probably to one particular type of food. You need to observe keenly over getting symptoms after eating a particular type of food. You have been eating potatoes for a month and then getting symptoms is little unlikely. If at all it is because of potatoes you should get it immediately after eating and not after eating for a month.

Most of the people will have an allergy to milk and milk products or lactulose intolerance. Most common food products that cause allergy are milk and milk products, eggs, fish, nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, soy, or wheat (as seen in patients with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity).

Have you been evaluated for other gastric disorders by a gastroenterologist? It would be better if I could see all your reports and treatment given so far by your doctor.

You need to observe keenly about the food type that is causing the allergy. Avoiding the food that is responsible is the best way to avoid allergic reactions. Make sure you have always with you all emergency medications needed to be taken in an emergency. As anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions can be dangerous at times.

Kindly get back with the above details, your further queries and reports if available for further discussion and management.

Thank you doctor,

I took an MRI with contrast to look for insulinoma (negative), and abdominal CT (no findings). There are gallbladder sludge and polyps but no stones and no signs of gallbladder inflammation.

I had a stool test that showed high levels of fecal secretory IgA and Zonulin which seems to be indicative of what is going on but regular doctors do not seem to know what it is.

I am telling you the potatoes I am eating now cause severe throat swelling immediately after eating, and they caused no reaction like that a month ago. Many other foods do it now, too. It is not a single food. Literally all meats, all macros, rice, beans, soybean, all fruits, many vegetables (like mushrooms). They all make my throat immediately swell up when I start chewing on them and if I swallow them it gets severe, I get heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dehydration, and mouth dryness. Many nuts and certain grains also cause frank diarrhea. These symptoms all developed in the last year or two.

I have had an endoscopy with normal findings aside from mild esophagitis and a patulous LES.



Welcome back to

I have reviewed your reply and the details that you have given.

The stool tests, increased secretary IgA and zonulin tests usually indicate about the immune response of the gastrointestinal tract and may be due to some food allergy or it may also be elevated in some inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's disease or rarely with ulcerative colitis also.

You should undergo colonoscopy once to rule out the local cause. Apart from an allergy to food other intestinal diseases like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, etc., has to be evaluated for and ruled out. You can also undergo an allergic test for various food items that you consume.

In your case, as you suspect to have an allergy to so many foodstuffs you should undergo a food elimination and reintroduction of food items one by one but under the guidance of a local practitioner or an allergy expert.

Secondly, you should have an autoinjector of Epinephrine in case of emergency or severe anaphylactic reaction.

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