Not every food allergy is immediately obvious, and will require closer attention and analysis. The oral challenge food allergy test is one approach used to accurately diagnose a food allergy trigger. This type of test can be used alongside skin and blood tests to get to the root of the problem.
How Does an Oral Challenge Test Work?
The oral challenge test requires the adult or child patient to consume the food believed to cause an allergic reaction. This process usually takes around 3–6 hours, and is medically supervised to observe and treat any adverse reactions.
The amount of food consumed is gradually increased to assess allergic responses. If you can eat the equivalent of a meal without a negative reaction, you are unlikely to be allergic. However, if there is a reaction such as stomach pains, skin redness or swelling, the cause of the allergy will have been identified.
When Are Oral Challenge Tests Used?
The oral challenge test is one of the three main methods of diagnosing a food allergy. Most doctors will use a skin prick test or blood test first, before trying the oral challenge. A skin prick test can test for many allergens in a short space of time. A blood test is also quick in the sense of taking a blood sample, though the results must be sent to the lab for testing. The extended time required for an oral challenge test often means it will be used when the results from other tests are inconclusive.
The Benefits of an Oral Challenge Test
An oral challenge test can offer conclusive results based on a real-world scenario. Your doctor can monitor the results based on your consumption of a particular food. This process duplicates what can happen when a person accidentally eats a small amount of food and has a reaction to it. Skin and blood tests are also effective, but they won’t provide accurate results in all circumstances. The test is performed under medical supervision, with clear guidance given to both parents and children after completion of the test.
The Risks of an Oral Challenge Test
Food allergy testing can result in concern and even worry about taking part in such a test. Since people may have experienced negative reactions to a food, it can make them reluctant to go through the testing process. Some people would prefer to avoid the food altogether rather than take any chances. While there are risks involved in consuming a suspected allergen, you will be in the best environment possible – a safe environment with professional care. Any adverse reactions can be dealt with quickly by your doctor.
Diagnose Your Food Allergy With an Oral Challenge Test
Do you suffer from food allergies but aren’t sure about the triggers? Request an appointment online at one of our food allergy clinics in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek or call us today at 678-668-4688.
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