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Food Allergy Video: Fiction vs. Fact

In this short video from Science InsiderAllergists Debunk 11 Food Allergy Myths — two top allergists dismantle common misconceptions about food allergies.

You will meet Dr. Wei Wei Li, a board-certified adult and pediatric allergy and immunology specialist who has practiced in New Jersey for the past 10 years. You’ll also meet Dr. Payel Gupta, another board-certified adult and pediatric allergy and immunology specialist who is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Cleared, a national telehealth allergy platform. Dr. Gupta has been practicing in NYC for over 12 years.

This Science Insider video will help you know your food allergy facts!

Watch the video

Life with food allergies is hard enough without being confused by food allergy misinformation. After you watch this video, you’ll be able to separate the facts from the fiction about food allergies.

1. MYTH: Peanuts are the most common food allergy.

Learn what the differences are between THE most common adult & pediatric food allergens, what the top 9 allergens are, and where peanut allergy fits into the mix.

2. MYTH: You can use Benadryl to treat an allergic reaction.

Learn why you should NOT use Benadryl (an oral antihistamine) as the only means of treating an allergic reaction, for food allergies in particular. Find out what you should do.

3. MYTH: Food allergies and food intolerances are the same thing.

Learn how & why food allergies and intolerances are different and how they affect your body and wellbeing.

4. MYTH: Food sensitivity testing is accurate.

Learn about the shortcomings of IgG testing and a more reliable method for diagnosing food sensitivities.

5. MYTH: The best way to find out if you have a food allergy is to get tested. Find out the best way to definitively determine if you have a food allergy (and spoiler alert — it’s not a blood test!)

6. MYTH: You can cure food allergies.

While you cannot cure food allergies right now, find out about an FDA-approved protocol that can help peanut-allergic patients tolerate some exposure to peanut protein.

7. MYTH: Allergic reactions won't happen if you didn't swallow the food.

Learn about the reaction risk posed by just touching an allergen or breathing it in if it’s aerosolized (e.g., by boiling or steaming it.)

8. MYTH: Each allergic reaction will be worse than the last.

Learn why reactions to food are unpredictable.

9. MYTH: If your child has eczema, they will also develop food allergies

Find out the role eczema plays (or does NOT play as the case may be) in the development of food allergy and learn about the atopic disease spectrum.

10. MYTH: If your first child has a food allergy, your next child will have one also.

Get the facts on what to expect about food allergies and siblings — this can ease your mind.

11. MYTH: Throwing up will make your allergic reaction less severe.

Learn where throwing up fits into an allergic reaction and why it doesn’t lessen a reaction’s symptoms.

“...Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

—Marie Curie

Watch the video



Payel Gupta, MD, FACAAI, is an experienced physician with over 12 years of clinical practice. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at both SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. She is triple board certified with certifications from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics. She practices in New York City treating both adult and pediatric patients with asthma, environmental allergies, allergic skin conditions, immune disorders and food allergies. Dr. Gupta is Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer for Cleared, a startup focused on treatment for allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis (allergies of the eyes and nose. ) She co-hosts The Itch Podcast and serves as Medical Advisor & Editor for Zestfull an online magazine for food allergy sufferers and others living life a little differently with restricted diets.


Wei Wei Li, MD, is a board certified allergist and an experienced physician with over 10 years of experience, practicing in New Jersey. She provides allergy consultations regarding hay fever, sinus problems, rashes, hives, food allergies, asthma, and immunodeficiency. Dr. Li completed her Medical School at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, her residency at the North Shore/Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Long Island, NY, and pursued fellowship training in Allergy/Immunology at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.


This video was created by Science Insider and was published on the Science Insider YouTube channel on November 14, 2021. Science Insider tells you all you need to know about science: space, medicine, biotech, physiology, and more. Science Insider is a section of @Insider

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Credits: Thanks to Dr. Payel Gupta for permission to share this content with the Allergy Force community


Allergy Force is committed to helping people with food allergies live freely — with less fear, less anxiety, more confidence — through technology and education. The Allergy Force food allergy app is peace of mind in your pocket.

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