Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Allergy Testing: which type is best?

I get asked this question a lot: what is the best test for food allergies?  Elimination on your own may give you some ideas, but to be the most accurate (and to differentiate from food intolerance), you should get tested by an allergist.  But which test? Some doctors recommend blood tests, others scratch tests (I got a scratch test).  Food allergy blogger pal Allergic Girl posted a wonderful interview last year with Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, who specializes in food allergies,  to give a clear description of the merits of scratch tests, blood tests, and also Immunocap testing which is a newer, more accurate blood test. 

A sample from the interview:

A food allergy is a clinical disorder based on clearly defined, repeatable symptoms that are directly attributable to a specific food ingestion. These symptoms must occur within a specific time period related to ingestion or contact with a particular food. The most important part of making such a determination is the clinical history—what actually happened or happens when a particular person ingests or comes in contact with a particular food. Without a history of symptoms, one cannot have an allergy to that item. No single test, outside of a direct food challenge, can diagnose someone as food allergic. Read the entire allergy test post here!

Click here to read Allergic Girl.

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Follow Dr. Greenhawt on Twitter .

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