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Food Allergy Tests

Food Challenges Deemed Best for Testing Food Allergies

Mealtime may get a bit easier for parents of the four million US children who suffer from food or digestive allergies. According to The Wall Street Journal, many tots who have been diagnosed with allergies based on blood or skin tests may not actually be allergic to those items. When tested with a food challenge in a doctor's office or hospital, parents may find that their lil one can in fact tolerate the food in question.

At the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) conference last year, doctors from National Jewish reported that of 125 young patients given food challenges, more than half could tolerate foods they'd been told to avoid.

While knowing the history of what a child has eaten may be the most important part of initially diagnosing an allergy, food challenges, during which a child comes in contact with a food item while under a doctor's supervision, appear to be the best way to determine a true allergy. But parents who fear a full-on anaphylactic reaction tend to shy away from such experiments.

If your child had a food allergy, would you consider a food challenge to determine the severity of the problem?

Join The Conversation
Sarana Sarana 7 years
Sounds like a good idea, especially if it helps children get back a normal life. Sometimes it seems like some parents go overboard in their fear of the allergy. This is coming from someone living in a country where peanuts are still passed around on flights, never seen anyone have a reaction.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I think it's a good idea actually. If they are finding kids don't actually have these allergies, and/or are growing out of them, a test in a safe enviroment can open up so many avenues for them. I have family that have to avoid so many things, and it's been years since they were diagnosed as babies. Their lives would be so much easier if they could safely test all of the individual allergies.
lilegwene lilegwene 7 years
Depends on the allergy. Something like milk - probably. Lactose intolerance generally causes discomfort, not serious problems so a food test might be a good idea if there isn't another reliable test available. Peanuts - no! Peanut and other serious allergies you should definitely do a skin test with a doctor and if something results from that then, imo, it is better to be safe than sorry and just avoid that food if there aren't any safer ways of finding out then ingesting it. Have you ever seen a severe allergy reaction? I wouldn't wish that on anyone, even if they're in a hospital.
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