Testing for Food Allergies

Testing for Food AllergiesExperts claim that tests conducted for diagnosing a person with a specific food allergy are accurate and easy to detect because tests are usually very effective in detecting one. However some researchers are of the opinion that these tests can yield unscrupulous results at times and are not very specific to a particular food allergen. So in some cases even when a person is not affected by a particular food allergy the tests confirm positive for that food allergy.

Researchers therefore counsel persons who might be suspecting a food allergy to confirm it by conducting tests at a reliable laboratory. They further assert that a person is liable to be allergic to one or two foods but not more than that. So it becomes easier to reach affirmative conclusions when an allergy tests are carried out.

Testing for food allergies:

The common tests conducted for identifying the degree and extent of sensitivity of a person to a particular food allergen or protein includes the following:

  • A skin prick test or a scratch test: This test is conducted by an allergist to detect the number of allergens at one time. An incomplete result can be followed by more sensitive tests to identify an allergic reaction to a food or foods.
  • RAST test: This test is also called radioallergosorbent test which is a blood test that tries to identify the IgE antibodies that maybe fighting against a particular food allergen. This test is conducted when skin prick test can be very helpful in identifying a food allergy like a severe eczema.
  • Elimination diet: When skin prick test becomes problematic in identifying a particular food allergen the allergist can suggest an elimination diet which can be tiresome but proves very effective when the skin is not reacting to any allergy tests. It also helps in identifying a food intolerance symptom which does not get revealed through allergy tests.
  • Oral food challenge or Double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge: This test is risky and always conducted with the close supervision of an allergist. It requires the patient to gulp down suspected allergens while the allergist waits for hours to confirm an allergic reaction to that particular food allergen. In this case, both the patient and the allergist are unaware of the consequences or likelihood of an allergic reaction to a particular food allergen. This test is often conducted for identifying whether a child has outgrown a food allergy or not.
  • Food log: Maintaining a diary or journal is also effective in identifying food allergies, food intolerances and sensitivities to a food allergen.

Experts highlight the need to completely avoid the food one maybe allergic to and offer it as the best sought solution for treating an allergic reaction to foods. These tests whether accurate or faulty, are considered to be imperative while detecting a food allergy. So comply with them if you suspect an allergy.