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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Food Allergies and Intolerances

The University of Chicago Medicine provides comprehensive care for infants, children, teens and adults with food allergies, food intolerances and/or allergies to medication. Our goals are to:

  • Provide high level, state-of-the art clinical care of food allergy
  • Help new and expecting mothers to prevent the development of food allergy
  • Work with community organizations, businesses, schools and churches to increase awareness of food allergy and to ensure preparedness in case of a food allergic reaction
  • Quickly translate findings made in the laboratory to trials in the clinic

Signs and Symptoms of Food Allergies

Nylah Washington with cereal

Allergy patient Nylah Washington. Read Nylah’s story.

Signs of an allergic reaction to food or medication include itchy mouth, hives, eczema, puffy skin, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea and -- in severe cases – swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing. It's important that anyone who experiences difficulties breathing goes to the emergency room right away.

Working with Our Team

When you see an allergist at the University of Chicago Medicine, he/she will take a comprehensive medical history, perform a physical exam, and may use a skin prick test and/or blood test to check for food allergies. If allergy test results and medical history are inconclusive, and do not show whether or not your child has (or still has) an allergy to a specific food, we may recommend an oral food challenge test. Download the oral food challenge information sheet (PDF)

If you or your child has a food allergy, our team will work with you to develop a comprehensive management plan. This plan will include strategies for avoiding foods or medications that trigger reactions, as well as creating an emergency plan to treat reactions if they occur.


Christina Ciaccio, MD, MSc 
Interim Section Chief, Allergy and Immunology
Clinical Director, Food Allergy Program

Nana Fenny, MD, MPH

Steve Handoyo, MD


Patti Byun, RN 

Karina Roman Villalobos, RN

Donna Sullivan, RN