Crystal Lake allergist explains food allergy and food intolerance test

Crystal Lake allergist explains food allergy and food intolerance test

Food allergies can be a burden on quality of life. For children, the dangers that may be lurking at school cafeterias, birthday parties, and other activities can be troublesome to cope with.

Food intolerance is often mistaken for actual food allergies. A food allergy test from an experienced allergist in Crystal Lake can provide valuable information on the chance an allergic reaction will occur from a certain food. Reactions can be extremely serious, and life threatening in the case of anaphylaxis. When tests confirm allergic reactions, the only true form of treatment is avoidance of the food.

Food allergy vs. food intolerance

Adverse reactions to specific foods are either an intolerance or an allergy. Food intolerance is not dangerous, as it does not involve the immune system. One common example is lactose intolerance. People with this condition lack enough lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose, causing bloating, gas, cramping, and loose stool.

Food allergies involve the immune system. Reaction occurs almost immediately after consumption, and may include hives, swelling, itching, or in serious cases, anaphylaxis.

Testing for food allergies

Testing to determine a food allergy can be a multi-faceted and complex process. Over-diagnosing can lead to unnecessary food avoidance as well as the expense of carrying an epi-pen and emergency medication.

To determine food protein allergies, we utilize allergy skin prick testing. Results can usually be read within 20 to 30 minutes.

If the patient does not have a positive skin testing, we move on to oral food challenges and elimination diets to confirm intolerance.

  • Elimination Diet Protocol – Elimination diets are used to determine whether or not certain foods are causing symptoms or making them worse.
  • Oral food challenge – Oral challenges are done in a supervised, low risk environment so the patient can be monitored closely for signs of allergic reaction.

To learn more about food allergy and intolerance testing call us at (847) 888-8802.

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Meredith Cirrincione | Dr. Noga Askenazi

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.