Let our expert allergists help you identify food allergens
Diagnosing food allergies can be tricky. Some methods of food allergy testing are unproven and even dangerous. However, when you visit Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Medical Group, you can rest assured that we will only be using proven testing methods that have been endorsed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. There are three main types of testing we can perform.
Skin Prick Tests
The first type of food allergy testing we will perform is a skin prick test. This involves placing a drop of solution containing the suspected food allergen onto your back, and then pricking the skin with a needle to expose your immune system to the allergen. If no reaction appears, you are not allergic to the food. If a raised red bump surrounded by itchy red skin appears, you may be allergic to the food. However, skin prick tests do have a 50 to 60 percent chance of yielding a false positive for food allergies because of the difference in how the body reacts to foods when they are actually eaten. Skin prick tests take about 15 minutes to show results and we can easily test for the many food allergens using this method.
Blood tests may be used to test for food allergies in patients who are taking antihistamines or have some kind of skin condition that could make the skin prick test impractical. Blood testing is done in a lab so you will not receive the results right away. False positives are also possible with this kind of test. However, blood tests can be useful for tracking food allergies in children, as sometimes these allergies can be outgrown.
Trial Elimination Diets
In order to confirm the results of a skin prick or blood test, we may recommend eliminating certain foods from your diet for two to four weeks. If your allergic symptoms disappear, it may be due to one or more of the eliminated foods.
Ready to get tested for food allergies? Contact us today to set up your appointment.