If you have a food allergy, your immune system launches a (mistaken) response that causes a series of symptoms. The reaction can range from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening.
It’s not always easy to identify what exactly you are allergic to. For that, you need to enlist an allergist – a doctor who has extensive knowledge of food allergy, diagnosing, and treatments.
Choosing the right allergy doctor can make a big difference in keeping your allergies at bay. Let’s talk about a few things to consider in your search for the right allergy doctor, and where you can go to get to the bottom of your food allergies.
Look for Board Certification
When considering an allergy doctor’s medical credentials, make sure that they are board-certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI). Many ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctors test for airborne allergies such as hay fever, but you need a board-certified allergist or immunologist to test for food allergies. Board-certification is the highest level of accreditation awarded to a medical specialist.
Look for an Allergist Who Offers a Range of Services
There is no single method to test for a food allergy, so it usually takes a comprehensive evaluation – such as a skin prick, a blood test, and an oral food test. An allergist who provides a variety of tests would be able to accurately diagnose a food allergy.
A positive result from a skin-prick test is usually not enough to make a food allergy diagnosis. In fact, it is very common for food allergies to be misdiagnosed and therefore treated improperly, but this can have lasting and harmful effects. Therefore, be sure to choose an allergist who offers a full range of diagnostic tests and is not hesitant about administering them.
Ask for Recommendations and Referrals
A word-of-mouth recommendation from a family member or friend is invaluable when looking for a good allergy doctor. Also, you can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to an allergist they trust.
Remember to check your insurance coverage list for allergists who take your insurance. If a doctor you’re interested in isn’t on the list, feel free to call the doctor’s practice to see whether they do indeed accept your coverage – or, if not, how that would be handled.
Board-Certified Allergist in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield, IL
Our allergy specialists here at Oak Brook Allergists are board-certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Raymond Pongonis and Dr. David Knysak are both board-certified in internal medicine, and Dr. Zachary Rubin is board-certified in pediatrics. Our team is ready to treat your entire family.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with any of our board-certified allergists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (630) 574-0460 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We have several locations across Chicagoland, and we look forward to serving you.