Food Allergy Testing/Treatment
What is a Food Allergy?
Normally, the immune system protects our bodies from harmful substances, like bacteria and viruses. It also fights foreign substances (such as allergens) in the body.
The problem is that in a person with food allergies, the immune system is oversensitive to certain foods, identifying them as allergens, and triggers it's defensive reaction to them by releasing chemicals into your body, such as histamines. This results in the allergic reaction.
Symptoms of Food Allergy Intolerance
This sensitivity to allergens can causes food allergy symptoms: itching, swelling, hives, coughing, diarrhea, skin rashes, etc. But some food allergy symptoms can be more severe, such as having trouble breathing, wheezing, vomiting, stomach cramps, muscle spasms, or losing consciousness, etc.
Common Food Intolerance Allergy Foods
There are 8 foods that account for 90% of food allergy reactions. They are:
- Milk allergy
- Egg allergy
- Peanut allergy
- Tree Nuts allergy
- Fish allergy
- Shellfish allergy
- Wheat allergy
- Soy allergy
However, an individual can be allergic to any food. Which makes working closely with a board-certified allergist in identifying and treating your allergy of great importance to your over all well-being.
Food Allergy Testing & Treatments
Allergy testing may be needed to determine if the symptoms are an actual allergy or caused by other problems. For example, eating contaminated food (food poisoning) may cause symptoms similar to food allergies. Some medications (such as aspirin and antibiotics) can produce non-allergic reactions, including rashes. A runny nose or cough may actually be due to an infection.
Food Allergy Risk Management (FARM)
Dr. Michael Wexler’s allergy group is now beginning a “Food Allergy Risk Management” (or “FARM”) program to help children and their families be more proactive with their food allergies.
The goal is to tailor make a program that will allow children to eat allergenic foods, beginning with peanuts, so they can be “bite safe” or if desired to simply safely tolerate trace amounts of foods produced in large manufacturing plants.
This is to be accomplished by controlled food challenges once per week in the office for 2 to 6 months followed by maintaining the goal dosage at home twice daily on an ongoing basis. Patients cannot exercise 1 hour before or 2 hours after dosing at home or in clinic.
The FARM program will subsequently incorporate other common food allergens such as tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, and soy. Children 5 years old and older without a history of eosinophilic esophagitis will be eligible. If interested, call the FARM information and scheduling line at 952-738-9121.
Food Allergy Testing
Skin testing is the most common method of allergy testing. One type of skin testing is the prick test. It involves placing a small amount of the suspected allergy-causing substances on the skin, and then slightly pricking the area so the substance moves under the skin. The skin is closely watched for signs of a reaction, which include swelling and redness. Skin testing may not be an option for some young children and infants.
Blood tests can measure the levels of specific allergy-related substances, especially one called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
In some cases, the doctor may tell you to avoid certain items to see if you get better. This is called an elimination diet.
Who We Are At Advancements in Allergy
At Advancements in Allergy, we know that the right care can make the difference between suffering with an allergic reaction and feeling better. We place great importance on having a complete & thorough knowledge of our patients, working closely with you to develop a strategy that works for you in treating and maintaining optimal personal health so you can feel better and therefore live better.
Our clinic emphasizes preventive care. We believe a personal, happy approach produces the best results. We combine the most modern medical knowledge with the warmest of care. We never forget to look at the patient as a "whole person" and consider each individual's preference and concerns in the development of a care plan.
At Advancements in Allergy & Asthma, we work hand in hand with your primary health care provider. This gives you access to the best of our vast Asthma expertise, while ensuring that your primary doctor is up to date on everything he/she needs to know about your specific needs. It's because we are a small asthma clinic that we are able to provide such personalized care with excellence in customer service.