What Are the Symptoms of Food Dye Allergies?


Food dye allergies are a common problem often associated with artificial dyes in a variety of foods. Many people who suffer from food dye allergies do not even know it. Paying attention to the symptoms of food dye allergies can help lead to prevention.

Initial Symptoms

Itching of the mouth is one of the first symptoms experienced in an allergic reaction to food dye. Additional symptoms may include difficulty in taking long breaths and swallowing fully. It is important to pay attention to these initial symptoms as they can often be misinterpreted as another ailment or a simple skin irritation.

Digestive Symptoms

Symptoms of food dye allergies during digestion may include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and even vomiting. Again, these are common digestive system of a number of other ailments, so if you suspect that this could be an allergic reaction to food dye or have had this kind of flare-up on numerous occasions, it would be prudent to make a doctor's appointment and have the proper tests done to rule out a food dye allergy.

Symptoms of the Skin

Allergens from food dyes can cause skin inflammations such as hives and eczema when allergens enter the bloodstream. More seriously, anaphylaxis can occur, which means a drop in blood pressure.


Those who experience the above symptoms should contact a physician to be tested for food allergies, and to rule out more serious conditions. Tests made include skin tests, blood tests, and dietary consultation. While food dye allergy reactions are not usually fatal, when left untreated, it can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain. This is why it is important to follow up after symptoms present themselves and insist on being tested for food dye allergies. Equally important is following the instructions of the doctor if a food dye allergy is detected.

Common Culprits

Food dye allergies are commonly found to be associated with Red #40 and Yellow #5, two food dyes used commonly in both foods and beverages. Gums and lecithin are also common culprits, as are MSG, spices, and artificial sweeteners.

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