FOOD ALLERGY TEST and CHALLENGE
When people develop symptoms after eating, they often suspect a food allergy. Other times “routine” blood tests diagnose a food allergy. Often both these conclusions are incorrect. Food allergy is a specific immunologic reaction that occurs in a few % of the population. A positive blood test or symptoms after eating does not diagnose this.
How Can You Properly Diagnose a Food Allergy?
We will skin test to the suspected food(s). YOU MUST PROVIDE A SAMPLE OF THE SUSPECTED FOOD(S) for the patient to be tested. WITHOUT YOUR FOODSAMPLE(S) WE MAY RESCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT.
Occasionally a skin test result will be so striking that we can determine a food allergy. Often we will need to perform a “food challenge.” For mild allergic reactions this can be done at home.
More serious reactions will be “challenged” in the office. Bring in the amount of food normally eaten in 1 meal. The patient will eat about 5% of the food and we will observe them for 30 minutes. If no reaction occurs, the patient will eat about 20%, and again be observed for 30 minutes. If no reaction occurs, the patient will eat the rest and be observed for 2 hours. If no reaction occurs, the patient will be discharged with instructions to inform us if any reaction occurs over the next couple days. If no reaction occurs, the patient will be diagnosed nonallergic.