Do you wonder if a particular food is causing you health troubles? You might be right! As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergy affects around 4% of both adults and children. It is one of the reasons why food allergy testing in Novi, MI, is becoming popular. People really want to know what is affecting their health and lifestyle.
Food allergy is a condition that causes the immune system to treat a particular food as if it is an infectious agent. The immune system response to a food allergy ranges from abdominal pain, tingling, itching, hives, redness, swelling in the mouth or tongue, wheezing, troubled breathing and tightness in the chest to rashes to a life-threatening complication called anaphylactic shock. The symptoms take around minutes to few hours to occur.
In most cases, it is tricky to diagnose food allergies. Therefore, it is best to rely on a carefully-taken history and food allergy testing. However, the common food allergens are shellfish, milk, wheat, soy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts.
Types of food allergy testing
Food allergies, once complicated to diagnose, are now better understood, thanks to food allergy testing. Common types of food allergy testing are:
- Skin prick test: in this test, the doctor places a small amount of a specially made extract of the suspected food on your skin and pricks it. If you are allergic to the particular substance being tested, a raised bump is developed. It looks more like a mosquito bite. It is the fastest test and often gives accurate results. In most cases, doctors test several things simultaneously, and one or more areas swells up or gets red, indicating an allergy. It usually takes around 15-20 minutes. Often people feel itching, so doctors apply some ointment to provide relief from it. The inflammation from the reaction settles within 30 minutes to a few hours.
- Blood test: The doctor will take a blood sample and expose it to different allergens. This test checks for IgE antibodies in the blood, produced when the body is exposed to allergy-causing substances. Results are available in about one to two weeks.
- Oral food challenge: These tests can be utilized after obtaining above testing to confirm the test results. In this case, the patient is initially fed a tiny dose of food, followed by assessment and observation before receiving the next amount. It is done under the strict supervision of an allergist and in the office. If the person begins to have symptoms, the test is immediately stopped and medicine is administered to make you feel better. Certain protocols are usually followed for different types of foods and, of course, after proper testing is obtained and it’s deemed safe to perform these challenges.
At times the immunologist prefers using a combination of two or more types of allergy tests to be sure of the result and avoid any confusion and complications. The test results can help you adjust your lifestyle and diet for optimum health.
Diagnosing food allergies is complicated as symptoms vary from person to person. We at The Allergy Suite specialize in treating allergies by getting to the bottom of the food allergy by suggesting food allergy testing in Novi, MI. Our immunologists, who received their training in prestigious institutions in Michigan, will work hand-in-hand with you to help you identify and manage your condition in the best possible way. To know more, contact us here.