What tests are available for finding food allergies?
Dr. Tobin: When trying to see if there is a food allergy, it is important to keep a diary which describes the food, the time of symptoms after eating the food and if any other allergy symptoms came at the same time like a runny nose, hives, skin rash, shortness of breath or swelling. Skin testing can be done with food extracts at the allergist office or the allergist may ask you to bring the food that you are having problems with and skin test you with the fresh food. Based on the results you and your doctor may decide on an elimination diet of the food and then restarting it. If there is a question, you might have a food challenge in the allergistsí office.
If your reaction to food caused severe symptoms, your blood may be drawn looking for the allergy antibody to the food. Based on these results, further skin testing or oral challenges may be done in the allergistsí office. Currently, other antibody tests against food proteins are being studied to see if they might be helpful for finding problem foods in patients with IBS. 2007-12-07 07:26:26