Food allergies affect the lives of many Atlanta children, and they can appear without warning. By paying attention to some common symptoms, parents can react quickly and seek out food allergy testing from an established allergist. However, because there are several tests used to identify allergies, this may cause confusion as parents look deeper into the subject. So, which food allergy tests do allergy doctors recommend for kids?
What Are the Best Food Allergy Tests for Kids?
Food allergy testing for kids is a safe and effective way to diagnose an allergy and develop a treatment plan. Allergists have a number of tests at their disposal, but skin prick testing and blood testing are the most common first options.
Skin prick testing is conducted at an allergist’s office and produces results quickly. A solution containing the allergen is placed on the arm and a needle gently pricks the skin. If a red bump appears, this usually indicates a positive result. On the skin testing area minor itching is possible.
Blood testing requires analysis of a blood sample for IgE antibody levels. An increased number of antibodies suggests the immune system is reacting to the presence of an allergen. However, this test will not reveal the degree of allergic reaction (mild or severe) that your child could experience. Read our food allergy testing FAQ for more on these tests.
When Food Allergy Testing Is Inconclusive, What’s Next?
While skin and blood testing are most common, your allergist may recommend another option. For instance, if test results are inconclusive – or if your child takes medication that cannot be temporarily stopped – a food elimination diet, along with an oral food challenge test, may be used.
The elimination diet requires avoiding foods that are suspected of causing allergic symptoms. After a period of complete avoidance, your allergist will ask you to reintroduce them into your child’s diet. If symptoms stop during the elimination phase and then return, this signals an allergy to the foods.
To positively confirm the diagnosis, your allergist may recommend the oral food challenge test. Your child will need to consume increasing levels of the food while being monitored for allergic reactions. This method produces accurate results though it is time-consuming – and requires careful scrutiny to prevent anaphylaxis.
What Steps Are Taken After My Child Is Diagnosed With a Food Allergy?
Along with these food allergy tests, your allergist will discuss medical history and analysis of symptoms to come to a firm conclusion. In practice, there is no single solution for diagnosing allergies. Your allergist will use their expertise to gather as much information as possible. As a result of appropriate testing and diagnosis, your child can receive an effective food allergy treatment – one that will reduce the chances of a severe allergic reaction.
Access Food Allergy Testing for Kids in Atlanta and Beyond
If your child has an allergic reaction to any type of food, it is important to speak with an allergist. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center provides food allergy testing services for kids and adults from our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. To contact us, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment now.
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