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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