Food Allergy Testing
Get to the Bottom of What’s Bothering You
Adverse reactions to certain foods are very common and can be classified in two ways: those caused by a food allergy, and all other reactions, often called food intolerance. Though food allergies are common, symptoms can range from minor discomfort to anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Although any food can trigger food allergies, the most common triggers of a food allergy are milk, egg , wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, sesame seeds, fish, and shellfish.
Do I Need Food Allergy Testing?
The diagnosis of a food allergy generally requires a thorough medical history including what and how much you ate, how long it took for symptoms to develop, what symptoms you experienced and how long it lasted. Knowing the signs of a food allergy and when to seek medical help is important for anyone who suspects they may have an allergy.
Common signs of a food allergy can include:
- Skin: Itching, hives, or swelling
- Nose: Sneezing, runny nose, or nasal congestion
- Mouth: Swelling of the tongue or metallic taste
- Lungs & Throat: Chest tightness, repeated coughing, difficulty breathing, increased mucus production, hoarseness, change in voice, or a sensation of choking
- Digestive System: Stomach pains, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Cardiovascular System: Low blood pressure or shock
If any of these symptoms occur after eating a certain type of food, it may be a sign that you are having an allergic reaction. It is important to seek medical help if you experience any of these symptoms so that your doctor can properly diagnose and treat your food allergy. At Allergy Partners, we offer a range of food allergy testing options designed to identify the foods causing an allergic reaction, and to help us develop a personalized treatment and avoidance plan.
Food testing options include:
Skin Tests: In this test, a tiny amount of liquid containing suspected food is placed on the skin of your arms or back, and the skin is then lightly scratched. After 15-20 minutes, a small bump similar to a mosquito bite may form revealing the triggering allergen.
Blood Tests: A blood test detects the presence of allergen-specific antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that are produced in response to an allergic food trigger. Testing can be performed to the whole food or, in some cases, individual allergens, called components. Paired with a detailed review of your medical history and food allergy, expert interpretation of blood tests allows us to pin-point your problematic foods.
Food Oral Challenge: In a food challenge, a patient is given small incremental amounts of a suspected food in the safety of our office and monitored for reactions.
Managing a food allergy can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of reactions. Once we’ve uncovered which foods to which you are allergic, your Allergy Partners physician will develop a personalized treatment and management plan.
The cornerstone of managing food allergies is avoidance. Those with food allergies and their families should become educated on which foods may contain allergens and avoid them. This includes reading labels carefully when grocery shopping and asking questions when eating out. In many cases, it is necessary to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of accidental exposure to an allergen.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a relatively new therapy for the treatment of food allergy. OIT helps desensitize patients to the foods they are allergic to by giving them small quantities of the food allergen to ingest every day and gradually building their body's resistance to the food. OIT can greatly reduce a person’s risk of food allergy reactions. Your Allergy Partners allergist can discuss with you whether OIT is right for you.
Planning Your First Visit
Schedule an appointment at your local office and fill out our pre-registration and medical history forms to help minimize any wait time when you arrive.
Your First Visit
Your initial visit will consist of a consultation, review of your medical history and a comprehensive exam to build a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
Diagnostics and Testing
We may complete one or more tests to better understand the cause of your symptoms. Common tests include skin testing, pulmonary testing, and blood testing.
Following the evaluation and testing, we’ll provide a comprehensive diagnosis and implement a personalized treatment plan that will deliver relief.
If you suspect you are allergic to a certain food, Allergy Partners is here to help you find the answer. We offer food allergy testing and, with as little as one test, can give you clear answers about food allergies and help you live more comfortably and confidently.