A food allergy does more than just cause people to miss out on certain foods. Individuals who have an allergy have to be careful when eating dishes that others cooked, even at restaurants. Even consuming food from a factory where their allergy is handled can lead to a reaction. At Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, serving Bellevue, WA and the surrounding area, we offer allergy testing, so patients may discover their allergies and possibly seek treatment with us.
How common are food allergies?
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) states about 32 million Americans are allergic to at least one food. Of the individuals with food allergies, about 5.6 million are under the age of 18. In fact, approximately one in 13 children have a food allergy. Shockingly, approximately 40 percent of children have an allergy to more than one food.
Over 170 have been known to cause allergic reactions, but a majority of the reactions come from these eight foods:
- Tree nuts
In most cases, the reaction to the food is minor. The person may develop digestive upset or hives. However, it’s possible for a life-threatening reaction to happen that causes to a person’s throat swelling as well as breathing difficulty, fainting, and a low pulse.
What types of Food Allergy Testing do you offer?
Prior to your test, we’ll inform you about how to prepare. In some cases, you’ll need to refrain from taking an antihistamine because it blocks you from having a reaction to the allergen. Therefore, the results might not be accurate.
We offer four main types of food allergy testing: skin prick, blood, food challenge, and elimination testing. The blood test takes longer than the other tests. The skin prick test provides you with the quickest results.
A skin prick test is a common type we utilize. This test consists of our physician applying an extract of various allergens on your skin. Then, our allergy specialist will scratch the surface of your skin using a thin needle. This allows the allergen to penetrate through the first layer of your skin and possibly cause a reaction. About 15 minutes later, our practitioner will analyze the results.
Another type of test we use is a blood test. The test checks your blood for antibodies that occur when you have a reaction. The test only tells us if there’s a chance you have a food allergy. It doesn’t provide us with any insight as to how severe your allergy is.
At our allergy clinic, we may conduct an oral food challenge. During this test, you eat different foods you could be allergic to in small amounts. We monitor you carefully to see if you have a reaction. We’re able to stop a serious reaction if it should arise.
The elimination test consists of you removing one food from your diet at a time. If you’re still having a reaction, we eliminate another one from your diet and see if the reaction stops. If not, we keep eliminating until you no longer have a reaction. Once you stop having a reaction, we can determine the food you’re allergic to.
Sometimes, you need to have more than one test performed for us to find out your allergy.
Find out if you have food allergies – and what you’re allergic to – by contacting Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, serving Bellevue, WA and the surrounding area, Call.