Do you suspect that you or a loved one might have a food allergy? If so, it is important that an accurate diagnosis be made, as food allergies can heavily impact your life.
Although any food could potentially be the cause of an allergic reaction, the most common suspects tend to include eggs, dairy, shellfish, fish, tree nuts (including walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and hazelnuts), peanuts, soy, and wheat.
Diagnosis of a Food Allergy
Because food allergies can often have a genetic component, it is important for your allergy specialist to obtain a detailed medical and family history as a part of your diagnosis. It is also helpful for your allergy specialist to know about the severity and types of symptoms you typically get, as these can vary from person to person. This information can in part help your allergist determine what the best course of action may be regarding your food allergies.
Skin testing for certain foods can help determine whether you truly have a food allergy. This type of testing involves placing a small amount of liquid containing a suspected food allergen onto your skin. This patch of liquid is then scratched, which ensures high efficacy of the test. After 15-20 minutes, the site of the scratch will be inspected for a possible reaction. If the appearance of a flushed, raised bump is noted, this indicates that a food allergy may be present. Additional testing will likely still be performed.
Your physician may send you for blood testing to check for immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies for a particular food. IgE antibodies are produced by your immune system to attack allergens. If a certain level of IgE antibodies of a particular food is found in the blood, a food allergy may be present.
Oral Food Challenge
Skin testing and blood testing do not provide a definitive diagnosis, so typically, an oral food challenge will be required for an accurate food allergy diagnosis. An oral food challenge involves consuming gradually increasing amounts of food under a physician’s supervision over a period of time. During that time, you will be monitored closely for adverse reactions. Because of the slight potential for a severe allergic reaction to occur during this test, an oral food challenge must be performed in a healthcare setting under your doctor’s supervision.
Next stepsIf you are interested in further discussion about your specific needs, Dr. Reshamwala is happy to see you and answer any questions you may have. Please call 512-382-1933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment today! Book an appointment
Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21