Suppose you are experiencing a red rash, vomiting, hard time to breathe, and itchy skin. Hence, it is advisable to see a doctor. To confirm if it is an allergic reaction to food or not, go to a doctor that is an expert on allergies. Therefore, the doctor will do food allergy testing. It is to find out if you are allergic to some foods.
Here are some important facts:
1. Diagnosing a food allergy is tricky
There are some different ways to know if you have a food allergy. It is very important to give your doctor the signs you experience. Hence it will give the doctor an idea about your current health condition. Then, your doctor would first look into your family history. However, a doctor needs to know if some of your family members have a history of having allergies.
Therefore, share the information about your family if they had allergies. After that, there would be a physical examination to know what is the cause of your symptoms. There would be a chance that your signs might also be a symptom of other diseases.
2. Look for a Licensed Allergist
Moreover, it is important to visit a doctor that is a board-certified allergist. An allergist is a doctor who specializes in allergies. The doctors perform four kinds of tests to know if you have an allergic reaction to food.
This determines your allergic reaction to some foods. Using a small amount of the suspected food that you are allergic to. Hence, the doctor will prick your skin and puts the sample underneath it. If you are allergic to a certain food, there would be a raised bump. There is a chance that you are allergic to that certain food.
In this test, the doctor would take a blood sample from you. Then, it will go to a laboratory to test different foods in your blood. It is to see if there is any reaction to it.
This kind of test important in food sensitivity testing. In which you will not eat the suspected foods for 1-2 weeks. Then, you will add the food back to your diet one at a time. Also, this test helps the doctor to know what caused the symptoms of an allergy.
Oral Food Challenge
The challenge will happen in a clinic. In case something bad will happen, the doctor would be able to attend to the patient immediately. Hence, an allergic reaction is very dangerous and might even lead to death. In this test, you will eat the suspected foods. If without any reaction, you may still include the food in your diet.
3. Treatment Plan
The only solution to avoid an allergic reaction is not to consume foods that cause symptoms. However, sometimes it would be hard for you to avoid some foods. It is especially true when you are eating out or somewhere else. For a minor allergic reaction, there are some drugs available over-the-counter. It will help lessen the symptoms. You may take the drug after eating the allergy-causing food.
For a severe allergic reaction, you need a dose of medication through an injection. The drug is epinephrine. And in most cases, you need to go to an emergency room or call an ambulance if needed.
There are some forms of treatment studied. Like, Oral immunotherapy and early exposure. Oral immunotherapy uses some of the small pieces of food. That you are allergic to and place it under your tongue, or the doctor may ask you to swallow it. The amount of food will increase over time. Early exposure treatment is for children from 11 months to 5 years. They eat foods that are the most common cause of allergies. It would lessen their chance of having an allergy to these foods later in life.
4. Incorrect Testing
There is no perfect food allergy test. You may have positive results in the test but is not allergic to the food. Since there are a lot of things to consider, it is quite a tricky test. For sure, your doctor will know how to deal with it. You may not be allergic to the food. But you can be sensitive to it that makes it trickier. Since most of the symptoms in food allergy and food intolerance are almost the same. But food allergy testing is different from food sensitivity testing.
Suppose your results turn out to be positive. There are some important changes to your lifestyle. You always have to read the label. Check the ingredients of the product to make sure that it does not contain any food you are allergic to. When you are eating out with family or friends, you do not know what is in your food. Say, “no, thanks.” It is okay to say no than to regret not saying no. Some people do not understand the danger of having a food allergy. You can advocate for food allergy so that a lot of people will know about it.