How to Get Tested for Food Allergies?
Food allergy is quite a common condition today, with increasingly changing physiology and alterations to food patterns. Although it is easily confused with food poisoning, intolerance, or sensitivity, an allergy to certain foods is primarily a response of the body's immune system to certain compounds in the food. Although often mild, food allergies can have severe health impacts if necessary eliminations are not made in one's diet.
Food Allergy Tests
The tests that are commonly conducted to diagnose food allergies include the following:
1. Skin Prick Testing
Skin pricking is a sensitive method of food allergy test that brings fast results, almost within half an hour of testing. A sterile probe is used to prick the back or front of your arm's skin, which is then induced with a small amount of the possible allergenic food compound. Although the test may not cause pain, it can surely be uncomfortable.
The allergy diagnosis is considered positive if an allergic patch develops on the skin. In the event that no such patch surfaces, the test results are considered negative. The test, however, does not reveal the intensity of the allergy.
2. Blood testing
Another effective way to diagnose if you have a food allergy is through blood testing. Under this test condition, the diagnosis is based on the total number of allergic antibodies that your blood may contain.
3. Oral food challenge
Another successful food allergy test is the oral food challenge; although a costly one, it helps diagnose the presence of an allergy with close accuracy. The test involves you eating increasing amounts of the allergic food under clinical supervision to check for the presence of an allergy and how impactful it is if any.
Below are some other food allergy test names to remember when diagnosing your allergy.
- Analysis of the hair follicles and the scalp
- Vega testing
- Alternative blood tests
- Kinesiology testing
Why Should You Take a Food Allergy Test?
If eating a particular food item makes you sick every time, you probably have an allergy to it. Taking a food allergy test is ideal if you have observed your body getting unwell after consuming a particular food.
Taking a food allergy test requires an assessment of multiple aspects. Several risk factors related to your physiology can prompt taking the test. Here are some reasons that can make you go for the test.
- Individual symptoms: Individual allergies are the first and foremost prompt that requires you to take the test. Convey the symptoms to your doctor and share the types of food and their consumption amounts that may trigger the allergy.
- Family history: Another common reason that may lead to the allergy test involves a history of allergies to particular foods in your family.
- Asthma-prone physiology: If you suffer from asthma or a likely health condition, the chances of having a food allergy are higher for you than for others, which should prompt you to get tested for the common types.
- Other allergy types: If your body responds to other allergy types like pollen or dust allergies, your chances of carrying a food allergy increase too. As such, checking out a "food allergy test near me" centre is aptly called for.
Common Food Allergy Symptoms to Look Out For
The food allergy type, its intensity, and the body's response depends on your physiology. However, a handful of common symptoms have been identified that may indicate your allergy to particular food items. Here's a list of symptoms typically observed in individuals suffering from allergies:
- Swelling in the face, tongue, lips, or throat
- Excessive watering of the eyes
- Tingles or itches in the mouth
- Stuffed nose
- Trouble breathing and heavy wheezing
- Development of skin conditions such as rashes and hives
- Excessive itching on the skin
- Simultaneous vomiting, diarrhoea, and pain in the stomach or individual symptoms
- Frequent dizziness
In the case of allergic anaphylaxis, you may also experience increased pulsation and blood pressure drop, along with swelling in the throat and constricted breathing.
Which Food Allergy Test Should You Undergo?
The type of food allergy test that you may need to undertake varies depending on the severity of the condition.
- If the allergy symptoms pick up slowly in your body, the immediate clinical suggestion is to put the individual on a diet based on food elimination.
- If the allergy symptoms pick up quickly, the doctor suggests you undergo IgE food allergy tests.
Let's find out what tests are involved that can help diagnose a food allergy. But before that, here's a look at what your food elimination diet would comprise for mild allergy symptoms.
Things to Follow in a Food Elimination Diet
Under a food elimination diet plan aimed at reducing allergy symptoms, the dietician may list a bunch of food items that may cause recurring allergies. The plan remains to eliminate such foods from your diet and observe if it helps reduce the symptoms or not. Technically, it is a trial-and-error method of identifying which foods cause the most allergies and which have low impacts on the body.
Some common aspects that you must consider when maintaining a food-elimination diet include the following:
- The list of food items to be avoided for identification of an allergy
- One must know how to read and interpret food labels to understand their composition
- Check for alternative food options to get the correct nutritional values
- The extent of diet continuation is based on the severity of the allergy symptoms
It is suggested that you do not try out the food elimination diet without the supervision of a professional, as it may lead to nutritional disbalance in the body and may fail to identify the cause of an allergy.
Once you are all set to get yourself tested for the condition, it's time to book your food allergy test with Metropolis Healthcare. It is best to check out the cost of food allergy tests in your city as it may change from one location to another. Once you have checked the food allergy test price, you may proceed to get your bookings finalized and get a screening appointment. You must prepare yourself with a few useful questions like how long the allergy lasts, what the symptoms involved include, and other relevant aspects while booking a food allergy test.