Advanced allergy testing provides relief from food allergies for Buffalo Grove area
It’s common for people with existing allergies to have other types of allergic conditions.
Your hay fever may produce sinus problems, congestion, and runny nose around pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. Yet, even when you aren’t around these allergens your mouth tingles and itches. It’s no coincidence if our doctors, during their consultation with you, connect the dots between itching, possible wheezing, facial swelling, hives, rashes, nausea, and dizziness to a food consumed whenever symptoms arise. If hay fever is set off by ragweed pollen, eating bananas or melons may trigger an allergic reaction.
How can this be?
One of the many interesting things about food allergies is “pollen-food (or oral) allergy syndrome.”
Hay fever sufferers may find eating certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices cause an allergic reaction. This phenomenon happens because of “cross-reactivity.” Your immune system reacts to the proteins in these foods because they are so similar to the proteins that are found in the pollens that trigger hay fever.
In addition to the ragweed example, if you have are allergic to birch pollen you may also be allergic to apples, carrots, celery and pears. Melons, oranges, peanuts, and tomatoes can be problematic for those with allergies to grasses, and if mugwort pollen is an allergen, then reactions may arise when consuming spices like coriander and parsley.
Drs. Noga Askenazi, Dipika Patel, and Eugenia Hahn have a number of ways to identify the cause of your troubling symptoms, including:
- Skin – A small amount of suspect food is placed on the forearm or back. Your skin is gently pricked, allowing a tiny amount of the substance beneath your skin. A raised bump or other reaction is a sign that the suspect food really is your allergen.
- Blood – Using a sample of your blood, we can assess the amount of antibodies in the bloodstream that set off the reaction of events, whereby the immune system recognizes the suspect food as a threat and responds with histamines that manifest as symptoms, like itching, difficulty breathing, and hives.
- Patch – Samples of potential allergens are applied to your skin (usually on your back) with waterproof, medical-grade tape. We examine the skin and record data after 48 hours and again after three days, with information being used to confirm whether the trace food patched to you is actually the cause of your symptoms.
- Food – With this test, we actually introduce the suspect allergen to your diet in very small (yet increasing) amounts. Your body’s response to the food can help determine the culprit, and if that food can be reintroduced, especially if you are participating in an elimination diet to forgo certain foods for a week or two. These items may be introduced one at a time.
Other tactics, such as keeping a food diary, can help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. Some tests ideal for your friend may not be good for you; for instance, if you have severe eczema a skin test may be rejected in favor or a patch test. However, the skin test may be effective for a friend with little to no skin irritation.
Whatever the course of action may be, know that our board-certified team has access to the most advanced allergy testing in the Buffalo Grove area. Our Lake Barrington office is just 6 miles west on state Highway 22. Call to see us at 847 888 8802.