How To Test For Food Allergies – Food allergies can pose a slight or serious health risk and can even be fatal. They can cause hives, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal distension, anaphylaxis (closing of the throat) or rash. When it comes to performing a food allergy test, it is important not to try to diagnose yourself. If you do, you will end up excluding necessary nutrients from your diet. And what’s worse, a wrong diagnosis can prevent you from treating a serious illness. At the time of going to the doctor, you must take the necessary precautions to provide all the relevant information. You should also verify that the method recommended by the doctor has scientific basis.
Find a certified doctor
It is tempting to imagine that you yourself have identified the cause of your allergy and that you do not need professional help. But what appears to be an allergy may actually be part of a larger disorder. The wrong self-diagnoses can impede the treatment of these problems and unnecessarily limit your access to the right sources of nutrients.
- It is also essential that the doctor has adequate training. It is believed that certain experimental methods of allergy testing actually increase the risk of acquiring an allergy.
Make an appointment in advance for the food allergy test
If your doctor offers this type of service, make an appointment specifically to undergo a food allergy test.
- In some cases, the offices require a pre-test consultation to make sure your insurance covers the procedure. If you have no medical reason to suspect a food allergy (for example, a gastrointestinal discomfort or hives after eating certain foods), the doctor will want to discuss with you the convenience of the test or try to eliminate certain foods from your diet before making a skin test to detect such allergies.
Ask if the test is administered in your doctor’s office
Sometimes, they send you to a laboratory or they refer you to an allergist to carry out the food allergy test. If so, ask if it is first necessary to be examined in your doctor’s office or if you can go directly to the allergy testing center or the specialist.
Ask your doctor if you need to prepare for the test
Some doctors ask you to practice an elimination diet or to write a diary of what you eat. This may be necessary to isolate an allergy and determine what tests are required. However, you should not perform such methods without the explicit recommendation of a doctor.
Write all the relevant information
Before consulting with the doctor, you must make sure you have at hand any information that allows you to detect your allergy, including your symptoms and everything that has influenced your condition. Write it to decrease the chances of you forgetting important information.
- Write down all the symptoms you have experienced. This includes the symptoms that emerged later and appeared to have no relationship. It is likely that they are part of the same disorder and are important to diagnose your problem. Record the time the reaction occurred, its duration, the severity of the symptoms, the treatment received and your reaction to the latter.
- Write down what you have eaten, the way it was prepared (raw, cooked, powdered, etc.), the amount you have consumed and the time you have done it.
- Write all the medications you have taken. Significant changes in your life and external stressors can also cause negative effects on the body, so do not forget to also inform your doctor.
- If possible, consider asking a friend or family member to accompany you, as they can remember any information you have forgotten.
Check with your doctor if the elimination diet is necessary
Some people get hives as soon as they eat a food to which they are allergic. However, in other cases the allergic reactions are delayed. If the cause of your allergic reaction is not obvious, the doctor may ask you to remove suspect foods from your diet. It is important to discuss it with him first, since it will help you to continue consuming the required nutrients.
- Think about what you ate on the day of the allergic reaction. Eliminate those foods from your diet for 2 weeks.
- Slowly reincorporate suspect foods into your diet, one at a time. Write everything you eat and the symptoms you present. Remember that the effects may not be immediate. You probably have to wait a few days before you manifest a reaction.
- If the symptoms return when you return to a suspect food, you are likely to be allergic to it.
- If the allergy has been severe, do not try this method.  Every time your body comes into contact with an allergen, the response becomes stronger and stronger. If you have already manifested a severe reaction to the allergen, even a slight contact could be fatal. Consult your doctor to identify the trigger as soon as possible, take the necessary preventive measures and know what to do if you are exposed to the allergen.