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The first step in a food allergy diagnosis is the collection of the patient’s medical history including questions to determine if a food allergy is the culprit of the symptoms. Next, a number of tests will be carried out to test for sensitivities to specific allergens. The doctor could order any number tests including a skin prick test, blood test, oral food challenge and/or trial elimination diet. These tests can help both adult and pediatric patients.
During the skin prick test, a drop of solution containing the allergen will be placed on the patient’s skin and a probe is used to scratch or pierce the skin to allow the solution to enter the blood stream. The tested area is then monitored for a reaction. In a blood test, a sample is drawn to measure the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods. These antibodies indicate potential food allergies. Around half of blood and skin prick tests can result in a false positive, however, the results can indicate that oral food challenges or an elimination diet could help in further diagnoses. During a food challenge test, the patient will be fed small amounts of the suspect foods and then monitored for symptoms. The testing continues until a reaction occurs, at which point antihistamines will be administered. If the doctor orders a food elimination diet, for approximately two to four weeks all suspected foods will be removed from the patient’s diet, eventually reducing any symptoms. Once the symptoms disappear, the doctor may start to add foods back into the diet, one by one, to determine which food was causing the reaction.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, or your child, you should seek testing and diagnoses as soon as possible. A rash on the face today could escalate to something much more serious such as throat constriction the next time contact is made with the allergen.
An elimination diet is a good way to determine the specific foods causing the allergic reaction. A patient would have already undergone some testing to identify the probable culprits. Once all potential allergens are removed, foods can be slowly introduced back into the diet so that greater variety can be enjoyed by the patient. An elimination diet should only be undertaken under the supervision of a physician.
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"Dr. Samra knows his stuff. He is not biased and is very warm, genuine, and welcoming. He is also very thorough and educated me about my symptoms and why I react to it. "
"Dr. Samra is excellent at what he does. He is very thorough and doesn't rush your appointment. He took his time to get to know my medical history, symptoms, etc."
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"I was impressed when Dr. Samra took the time to carefully go over my allergy history and narrow down what exposures and precipitating factors I had"
"Dr. Samra was excellent! He listened, asked me lots of questions, answered all of mine and explained everything so that I didn't leave feeling confused."