Gluten Allergy Testing

Gluten AllergyIf you suffer from allergies soon after consuming wheat or grain products, it is clear that you are allergic to gluten. Gluten is a protein substance that is present in barley, wheat, spelt and rye. Even though you avoid these grains, you may consume them in one way or the other through some food items. To find out whether gluten is the substance that is causing allergy, gluten allergy testing is done.

There are many options for gluten allergy testing which apply the same for even casein allergy. Every test has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let us know about these tests in the following article.

  • RAST test

    This allergy testing known as radioallergosorbic test uses a sample of blood to determine the presence of IgE antibodies. If you are allergic to gluten substance, IgE antibodies are formed in response to it and this RAST test helps to determine whether they are formed against gluten or not. Positive results show that the allergy already happened in the past. This is a very expensive test, but takes time for the results. Sometimes even negative results occur though a person is suffering from gluten allergy. Another test called CAP-RAST has been developed recently which is more reliable than RAST test.

  • Challenge test

    – This is another allergy test that helps to find out gluten and casein allergies. It involves oral exposure of the particular substance which is suspected to be an allergen and the doses are gradually increased to determine the allergic response. Some food items that may either contain allergen or not, are given to eat and the response is noted down by the physician. This test is not suggested if the allergic reaction is severe, as it may lead to anaphylactic shock.

  • Skin prick test

    This is another good option for detecting gluten and casein allergies. It involves pricking the skin and applying the particular allergen to that area. The area becomes swollen, red and itchy if the patient is allergic to the substance. Even the welt size and degree of itchiness corresponds to the severity of allergy. These skin prick tests are simple, inexpensive, pain free and the results are quick. There is one drawback with this test that is if the patient is taking antihistamines, the results may appear negative.

  • Electrodermal screening

    This test is mainly chosen by naturopathic physicians. This involves application of slight electrical current to a particular point of skin where the patient will be wearing an electrode on the hand. The current is passed and the amount of electrical impedance between the stimulus and electrode is determined. Based on the impedance degree, the physician makes diagnosis of the allergy. This is the safest method of allergy testing.

  • Elimination diet test

    This is a simple test which any person can do on his/her own. This involves removing the particular allergen from the diet and then adding it back gradually. When the suspected allergen is added, the allergic symptoms recur. But there are certain drawbacks with this test. Not even minute amounts of gluten must be there in the diet. It requires at least a month of eating gluten-free diet before gradual reintroduction of foods is done. If by mistake any food containing gluten is taken, you need to start the test again. This is really difficult as many of the foods contain this ingredient. But one advantage is this is a very inexpensive test and a very good option for those who wish to avoid going to a physician.

This is all about gluten allergy testing.

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