Oral challenge testing services in Atlanta

An oral challenge test is one of several tools at the disposal of an allergy doctor. With food allergy testing requiring a combination of testing, symptom analysis and medical history review, an allergist can adapt their approach specifically for each patient. But when most patients are seeking a fast and precise diagnosis, should an oral challenge test be the go-to option for Atlanta allergists?

Is an Oral Challenge Test Effective in Diagnosing Food Allergies?

An oral challenge test is widely regarded as a reliable food allergy test. Described in one study as “the gold standard for diagnosis of IgE-mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergy,” the test can offer clarity when other options have failed to deliver a confirmed diagnosis.

In practice however, most allergists will use a skin prick or blood test first, due to both the speed and safety of these tests. When there is uncertainty, the more time-intensive oral challenge test is the best option, and will effectively support the original diagnostic tests.

What Is the Oral Food Challenge Test Process?

While many people are familiar with skin tests and blood tests, oral challenge testing is usually not as well-known. For those wondering exactly what an oral challenge test is, first recognize that this test should be conducted by an experienced allergist. Because the patient will consume doses of a suspected allergen, the possibility of an adverse reaction does exist.

Oral food challenge tests usually take between three to six hours, and require the individual to eat gradually increasing amounts of food at specified intervals of time. If there are any signs of an allergic reaction, the test will be stopped and a positive diagnosis can be confirmed. If a person eats a predetermined level of a suspected allergen appropriate for their age without reaction, they are not allergic to the food.

Using an Oral Challenge Test to Confirm an Outgrown Food Allergy

Food allergy testing is not used only to make an initial diagnosis. Many children outgrow their allergies, but this should be confirmed only under medical supervision. The oral challenge test provides a safe environment to test for an allergy and determine whether tolerance levels have changed.

Food Allergy Treatment After an Oral Challenge Test

If the test confirms a food allergy, the next step is finding the best allergy treatment. Avoidance is one aspect of preventing allergic reactions, but medications like antihistamines could also provide relief. In some cases, oral immunotherapy treatment can desensitize a patient’s immune system to an allergen, and may be the best long-term solution when a person’s health is compromised.

Diagnose a Food Allergy With an Oral Challenge Test

Are you experiencing the symptoms of a food allergy? Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center provides food allergy testing for adults and children, along with effective treatment plans for maintaining good health. Visit one of our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.

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