Testing for Food Allergies

food allergy testing near me

Having a reaction after eating food is never fun. You might find that you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a handful of nuts, or shellfish one day, only to break out in rashes and hives. Food allergies can also present as gastrointestinal issues. If you think you may be allergic to a food, it is essential to get allergy testing to find out what you may be allergic to and get treatment.

What are Common Causes of Food Allergies?
There are a variety of foods that can cause food allergies. Some of the most common sources of food allergies include:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soy
food allergy testing near me

How are Food Allergies Identified?
One of the best ways to pinpoint a food allergy is getting tested. If you’re wondering “where do I go for food allergy testing near me?”, our office can assist. In addition to testing for allergies, your allergist may ask some questions to better understand your medical history, the likelihood of an allergy to certain foods, and the severity of your reactions. In addition to testing, an allergist may ask what your symptoms are, when the symptoms started to appear, how much food you ate when the symptoms developed, the type of food or foods you consumed when the reaction started, how often the reaction occurs, and how long it lasts. An allergist may also ask about a family history of allergies and if you are allergic to anything else.

What Tests are Available for Determining a Food Allergy?
There are several different tests that an allergy specialist may perform in order to determine whether or not you have food allergies. One of the most common is called a skin prick test. Your doctor will gently prick the skin using a device that places a small amount of the suspected allergen under the skin through pricking or scratching for this type of allergy testing. Depending on the patient’s age, the doctor will either prick a patch of skin on the arms or the back. If you are allergic to a food, your skin may develop a reaction such as a raised bump or hives. If you do get a skin reaction, your allergist will measure the physical reaction that occurs. If there are multiple hives or skin reactions, the allergist will measure the size of each one. Generally, it takes about 10-20 minutes for symptoms to appear if you have an allergy. The number of allergy tests that the doctor orders and even the skin’s condition can all be a factor in when you can expect reactions to occur.

food allergy testing near me

The food challenge test is another test that the allergist may order. The food challenge test is given when the food allergy is expected but is suspected to be less severe. If an allergist decides to do a food challenge test, it will be conducted in a controlled environment under medical supervision. In the food challenge test, the patient is typically instructed to bring in a piece of food that they may be allergic to. The patient then eats the food while in the doctor’s office. After consuming the food, patients are closely monitored to see if any adverse reactions occur.

RAST is another type of food allergy testing. This type of test is pretty quick and obtains results within just a few days. For this type of allergy test, your doctor will use just a single needle prick to obtain results, which you can expect to get back soon after your appointment.

If your doctor suspects that testing for allergies using a skin test will be problematic, a blood test may be ordered instead. Blood tests are generally reserved for cases where a suspected food allergy would cause severe reactions. A doctor may also perform a blood test in conjunction with a skin test to learn more about the food or foods you’re allergic to.

What to Expect at Your Appointment
When you decide to get tested for allergies, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a local allergy specialist, such as Dr. Tottori. Along with asking about your personal medical history, a Las Vegas allergist will also want to know about any other environmental factors that may be contributing to your malaise. Your living environment will also be considered. Your doctor will ask a few questions to get a better idea of the likelihood that you have allergies, including if the allergy occurs when you eat other foods, if you get a reaction every time you eat the food, and if you have ever received medical treatment after developing the symptoms. Your doctor will want to get a good idea of when the symptoms and reactions occur to figure out whether you have an actual food allergy or you are reacting to another potential allergen in the air, such as ragweed. Some environmental allergens can produce similar symptoms to a food allergy, such as hives, swelling, and itchiness in the mouth and throat.

Elimination Diet

In addition to testing for food allergies, your Las Vegas allergist may suggest an elimination diet. That is especially true if you can only think of one or possibly two foods that seem to give you trouble and if you have a good idea of the food that may be causing your symptoms. The elimination diet means your doctor will put you on a special diet to help determine what food or foods might be the underlying cause of your allergic reaction. Your allergist may also ask you to keep a daily journal to track what reactions occurred and when. Additionally, your allergist might ask you to keep track of all the foods you consume and the medications you take. You will probably also be asked to make a note of the symptoms that you experience.

Food Allergies

Once a Las Vegas allergist discovers what you are allergic to, you will probably be advised to follow a treatment plan. In most cases, your doctor will recommend avoiding the foods you are allergic to. However, as careful as you may be, there is still the risk that you will come into contact with the food you’re allergic to at some point in time. If this happens, an allergist may prescribe additional medications depending on the severity of your reaction.

If you have developed or are likely to develop only minor allergic reactions, an allergist may recommend antihistamines, which can even be ordered without a prescription. You can take antihistamines after being exposed to an allergen in order to reduce the symptoms, and antihistamines will help with itching and hives.

Food Allergies

For those with more severe allergic reactions, an allergist may recommend a stronger medication such as epinephrine, which you will likely be advised to carry with you at all times. The epinephrine should be replaced before its expiration date for maximum effectiveness, and you should know how to administer the medication before an allergy attack occurs.

Food Allergies

If you’re ready to find relief from troublesome allergy and asthma symptoms, get in touch with Dr. Tottori today. You can make an appointment at Tottori Allergy and Asthma by calling (702) 240-4322 or by scheduling an appointment online.

Food Allergies