Do you suffer from a food allergy? Many people who do don’t know they have allergies. Individuals who suffer from food allergies may not have obvious symptoms such as swelling or shock. You may have an upset stomach or may not feel well after eating some foods. Though it can be hard to diagnose at home, when you come in to see our team, you’ll learn if you have an allergy and what can be done to help you feel better.
Food allergies occur when your body’s immune system reacts to the food you consume. In some cases, even a small amount of that food can create digestive and gastro symptoms. Some food allergies are severe enough to cause swollen airways and hives. These can be life-threatening. It’s estimated that about 8 percent of children under the age of 3 and about 3 percent of adults are affected by food allergies. Common types of food allergies include:
- Peanuts (or all nuts)
- Wheat or other grains with gluten such as rye, oats, and barley
Our Brooklyn food allergy testing helps to determine if you have food allergies and what types of foods cause allergic reactions for you. There are several types of tests we use to provide some information about allergies. Those include the following:
Skin Prick Test: This is the most precise way to test for allergies and is the primary method we use to identify food allergies and other allergies. We will perform the test either on the arm or back. After marking the skin and applying a tiny amount of the allergen, we will lightly prick the skin to allow the allergen to seep in and check for a reaction. If you are allergic to one of the substances, you will develop a small red, raised bump like a mosquito bite which will go away within a few hours.
Blood Tests: A blood test can provide information about how your immune system is responding to a particular food. To do this, we look at the allergy-type antibodies in the blood stream. These are called immunoglobulin E antibodies. These blood tests are a good starting point but often provide limited information.
Oral Food Challenge: This test is done in our doctor’s office. We’ll give you small, but slowly increasing amounts of the food we believe you are allergic to. We’ll then monitor for a reaction. If you do not have a reaction, you may be able to continue eating that food.
Trial Elimination Diet: A key step in ruling out one food or the other starts with an elimination diet. We’ll remove one suspect food from your diet for a week or more. Then, we’ll add it back in to see if there is a reaction with any type of reaction. It’s important to know that psychological factors can play a role in this process, making results less than accurate in some situations.
Avoid Self-Diagnosis and Unproven Tests
It’s very important not to try to self-diagnose a food allergy. If you think you have a sensitivity to gluten or another type of food, talk to our team first. Unproven, over-the-counter, or other types of tests simply cannot provide you with clear, accurate information. However, our offices offer a fast and reliable solution you can count on.
From Brooklyn food allergy testing, contact our team today. If you suspect a food is behind your systems, we want to help you feel better and improve your quality of life.