Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Food Allergy Tests add confusion #foodallergies

My pal Allergic Girl alerted me to an important article that ran in the WSJ.  It's great that food allergies are making national news...the more people are aware, the better!

This article notes some new findings which are unfortunately confusing, especially for newly diagnosed patients.  Essentially, even if your blood tests positively for IgE antibodies, you (or your child or loved one) may not actually react to those foods and may be unnecessarily avoiding some foods!  Ugh.  Here's the article by Melinda Beck http://tiny.cc/nmsv4  And here's a quote:
Blood tests measure the level of antibodies, called immunogloblin E (IgE), a body makes to a particular food. But having IgE antibodies doesn't mean that a person will actually have an allergic symptom when they encounter it.  Skin-prick tests are slightly more predictive, but there, too, a red wheal in response to a skin prick doesn't necessarily mean that a child will have an actual allergic reaction to that food.
So what does this mean? That in the end, doctors recommend a medically-monitored food challenge following allergy tests.  You can do your part by listening to your body as you navigate through your challenge foods, and work with your allergist closely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that there are inconsistencies. My daughter is allergic to a couple of things. One is wheat, but she has been eating it all her life, so the result for it was a little unclear for me. Hopefully, they can come up with a better way to reveal truer results.