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Food allergies, heart problem

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February 21st, 2012

Q. I ve been eating eggs with no problem my whole life. But now, I don t feel well when I eat them. Could I have developed an allergy this late in life?

A.Most food allergies begin in childhood, but it is possible to become allergic at any time throughout your life. But with many older adults what seems like an allergy may in fact be food intolerance. This happens because you can t digest certain foods like you used to, and symptoms are typically gastrointestinal in nature such as an upset stomach, bloating, gas, or diarrhea. If you truly have a food allergy, you might experience more severe symptoms such as hives, face or tongue swelling, or even difficulty breathing. See your doctor as soon as possible. What starts as a mild allergy can quickly develop into a serious one.

Q.I have heart problems and my cardiologist has recommended surgery. Should I get a second opinion?

A. Heart surgeries have come a long way. For instance, a bypass surgery used to mean weeks in the hospital, but now you could be home in as little as five days. That being said, medicine is not an exact science and if you are facing major surgery, a second opinion can be a prudent move. Doctors can render different opinions based on the same medical data and hearing your options can help you make the right decision for you. Discuss it with your family and keep in mind that ultimately you will decide if you are going to undergo surgery. 

Janice Gable, M.D. 

Medical Director

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