Oral Challenge Food Allergy Testing
Diagnosing food allergies with an oral challenge test.
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What Is an Oral Challenge Food Allergy Test?
Correct diagnosis is integral to properly dealing with a food allergy. Many food allergies appear minor, and in the early stages may offer only mild discomfort. However, these reactions can get worse over time, making it crucial to find an appropriate solution.
The oral challenge food allergy test is used to understand exactly which foods are causing reactions. Dr. Chacko will use this method, when appropriate, for food allergy sufferers in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.
Oral Food Challenge Process
The oral food challenge involves consuming small amounts of the food suspected to cause allergic reactions. While your doctor monitors your condition, the amount of food given is gradually increased. The level of food intake is low, meaning any reaction should be mild. Symptoms of an allergic reaction could include a skin rash or stomach ache.
The process of feeding and monitoring can take a period of hours. If no symptoms are discovered, patients will continue to increase their food intake until a typical meal has been consumed. This approach can offer accurate results, ensuring that you or your child can adjust eating habits immediately.
Is the Oral Challenge Allergy Test the Best Option?
Skin prick tests and blood tests are sound allergy testing methods, with the oral challenge test being an additional option to help determine exactly which food allergy you or your child are experiencing. This process, however, requires medical supervision over an extended period of time, so in most cases it will not be the first testing option.
If you don’t experience an allergic reaction during the oral challenge, the chance of experiencing future allergic symptoms is low. Therefore, with your doctor’s advice, you can add the food to your regular diet.
Common Oral Food Challenge Questions
Should I stop taking medications before the test?
Speak to your doctor to determine whether you should stop any medications beforehand. Typically, medications that interfere with the challenge, such as antihistamines, will be stopped for a period before the test.
Is the oral challenge risky?
Since small quantities of food are consumed, if reactions appear, they will usually be mild. However, it is possible for a patient to experience more severe symptoms. This is why our trained medical staff will be present to monitor for symptoms throughout the test.
Can the oral challenge confirm if my child has outgrown an allergy?
Yes. The oral challenge can determine whether your child has outgrown a food allergy while under medical supervision. If an allergy still persists, you could discuss alternative approaches such as oral immunotherapy.
Start Dealing With Your Food Allergy
If you have concerns about a food allergy, it is important to get tested by an allergist. Dr. Chacko can advise you on the appropriate allergy tests and a sound treatment solution. The food allergy treatment center has clinics in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call 678-668-4688 for an appointment.