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August 12, 1983

Medical News

JAMA. 1983;250(6):701-711. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340060003001

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Eat, drink, and be merry— or argue about food 'allergy'  Dear Dr Johnson: My 8-month-old son seems to be very fuzzy. [The physician] can't seem to find anything specifically wrong, but she did suggest the problem may be caused by some sort of "food allergy."When I pressed her on this, she said she doesn't really know that food is a problem, but it is always a good guess when nothing else can be found.She suggested that we begin eliminating various foods—one at a time—from the diet to see if anything happens. Can you tell me how I'll know if my child really does have a food allergy?—A.I., Ames, Iowa(Reprinted with permission from "How to keep well" by G. Timothy Johnson, MD, 1982.)A.I.'s plea for help reflects the confusion surrounding reactions to food. In the words of Joseph Bellanti, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics