Category Archives: Food Allergy Testing
To help determine if you or your child has a food allergy, there are a few steps you must take.
- Keep a log – write down very detailed symptoms. Be sure to note the food and how much of the food caused the problem.
- Call your doctor – Bring your log with you and tell your doctor all about it. He will do an exam and further testing.
- Blood Test – If your doctor suspects a food allergy, the doctor will most likely send you for a blood test. A blood test measure’s your immune system’s response to certain foods known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. However, these blood tests aren’t always accurate, and produce false positives.
- Skin Test – This is typically performed on the back for children, and on the inner arms for adults. Your skin is pricked with a very tiny needle, and a tiny amount of the allergens are placed beneath your skin’s surface. If you are allergic to something, an itchy raised bump will form. The doctor will rate the size of the bump with the severity of the allergy.
- Restricted Diet – Depending on your results, you will be asked to remove certain foods from your diet. If the doctor thinks that you may have an intolerance or sensitivity rather than an allergy, he may ask you to remove certain foods from your diet, and gradually add them back in to check for specific symptoms when reintroduced. This will narrow down which foods specifically are causing the problem. If you are truly allergic, the doctor will recommend the food be eliminated from your diet completely.
- Oral Tolerance Test – This test is done in your doctor’s office or a clinical environment, where doctor’s are prepared with emergency medication. A small amount of the allergen is given to the patient to ingest. Typically they start with a very, very tiny amount of the allergen. If that it tolerated, then increasing amounts are given at set time intervals, typically a every half hour or so. If you don’t have a reaction during this test, you can typically begin including this food back into your diet again.