If you are among 30 million Americans who suffer from food allergies, you know that vomiting, diarrhea, tingling or itching in the mouth, and swelling of lips, face, or tongue can be frightening and overwhelming.
For some people, an allergic reaction to a particular food can be uncomfortable, but for others, it can be life-threatening, often called anaphylaxis. The good news is that there are many things that you can do about your food allergies – one crucial step toward overcoming your food allergy symptoms is to get a food allergy test.
Let’s take a look at what a food allergy test is, how you can prepare for a food allergy test if your allergist has recommended it to you, and where you can go for allergy treatment in Will County & DuPage County, IL.
What is Food Allergy Testing?
Food allergy tests are the tests your allergist performs to help pinpoint the precise type of food causing your symptoms.
Food allergies can be tested with blood tests, skin prick tests, etc.
It’s important to mention that no perfect test can confirm or rule out your food allergy. So, your allergist will consider several factors, such as symptoms, family history of allergies, and physical examination, before making a diagnosis.
How Can You Prepare for It?
The following are some important tips that your allergist will advise you to follow before your food allergy test.
Tip#1 Avoid Medications That Can Interfere with Your Immune System
If you are planning to undergo a food allergies test, like a skin prick test and blood test, your allergist may advise you to avoid certain medications.
Following are the guideline on how long before your food allergy test you need to avoid medications:
- Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines at least 5 days before the test
- Nasal and eye antihistamines at least 2 days before the test
- Oral H2 blocker at least 2 days before the test
- Over-the-counter sleep medications and other drugs that have antihistaminic properties 2 weeks before the test
- Oral corticosteroids 5 days before a skin allergy test
Tip#2 Do Not Eliminate Food from your Diet At Least 4 Weeks Before the Test
Before the blood test, adjusting your diet or avoiding any particular food is unnecessary.
The blood test for food allergies detects IgG antibodies in the test. So, when you eat your particular food within the past four weeks of your test, an allergic reaction produces IgG antibodies in the blood that can be detected during the blood test. On the other hand, if you remove certain food from your diet for a long period of time, your blood may or may not have IgG reactivity detected.
Tip#3 Ask Your Doctor About Medications You Can Take
Not all medications are restricted for you before a food allergy test. Generally, you may continue to use your medications, such as intranasal allergy spray (particularly before your skin prick tests), asthma inhalers, and oral theophylline.
It’s a good idea to list certain medications you regularly take and give the list to your allergist, who can tell you if you can take your medications before the test.
Food Allergy Testing in Will County & DuPage County, IL
If you think you are a candidate for food allergy testing, visit us at Oak Brook Allergists. Our allergists are leading experts in the Chicago area in making the diagnosis and providing the treatment of food allergies. Our allergists are committed to providing relief from your allergies using a variety of treatments, including medications and oral immunotherapy, no matter how old you are and how severe your allergies are.