Food allergy testing is critical in treating an allergy. Under careful medical supervision, the process tracks your immune system’s response to specific allergens. Along with your medical history and allergy symptoms, testing helps your Atlanta allergist make a firm diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. If you are concerned about your symptoms, here are the signs that you need food allergy testing.
When Should I Get Food Allergy Testing?
Food allergy testing is primarily used when an individual has shown symptoms of an allergy. Usually, within a few minutes or a couple of hours after eating food, an allergic person will experience symptoms that can range from a mild to severe response. A person may not know exactly what food caused the reaction, but with the aid of food allergy testing a precise diagnosis can be delivered.
What Are the Common Symptoms of a Food Allergy?
- Skin rash or hives
- Itching or tingling sensation
- Coughing or wheezing
- Nasal congestion
- Breathing issues
Along with obvious food allergy symptoms, there are factors in a person’s life that can increase the risk of developing an allergy.
For instance, a child with a family history of allergies will have an increased chance of experiencing allergies. Data suggests that compared to someone with no allergic family members, having two or more family members with allergies roughly doubles the chances of getting food allergies.
Plus, having one allergy also raises the chances that an individual will suffer from additional allergies. During the food allergy testing procedure your allergist will often check for multiple allergies.
The Main Types of Food Allergy Testing
The best type of food allergy test for kids is a skin prick test. The skin is gently pricked, and drops of a solution containing allergens enter below the skin’s surface layer. If a red bump appears, this means confirmation of an allergy. The process takes around 15 minutes and provides accurate results.
When results are inconclusive, your allergist may send a blood sample to the lab for analysis. Increased levels of antibodies will indicate your immune system is reacting to an allergen.
Finally, an oral food challenge test is a highly-accurate (but more time-consuming) option. Patients eat gradually increasing amounts of the suspected allergen while being monitored for an allergic response.
What Treatments Are Available After Food Allergy Testing?
Confirmation of a food allergy is the first step towards finding an appropriate food allergy treatment. In mild cases, medication may be enough to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. However, oral immunotherapy treatment is the best option if you want to prevent allergic reactions and continue eating the particular food.
Professional Food Allergy Testing in Atlanta
Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center has trusted allergists and immunologists, delivering food allergy testing and treatment. For assistance, visit one of our food allergy centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or make an appointment today.
Image Credit: Guschenkova/Shutterstock.com