If you experience symptoms like mouth-tingling or throat swelling shortly after a meal, you might have more than a food insensitivity. At Allergy Associates of Utah in Murray and West Jordan, Utah, Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, perform food testing to determine if you have a food allergy and identify the specific food allergen you need to avoid. Call the office to schedule your food testing appointment or book online at either Allergy Associates of Utah location today.
What is food testing?
Food testing is a way of identifying the food or foods that cause you to experience an allergic reaction. Food allergies can be so severe that they cause reactions with only trace amounts of the specific food present, even if the amount is so small that you can’t see or taste it.
It’s important to diagnose your food allergy so that you can avoid the food to the best of your ability and forgo a very dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis, which causes a drop in blood pressure, airway constriction, and a weak heart rate. Without immediate treatment, it can lead to cardiac arrest.
With a conclusive food test result, you can modify your diet and take additional precautions to stay away from the food allergen.
What should I expect during food testing?
Allergy Associates of Utah conducts food testing using a few different techniques. If you suspect that you or your child has a food allergy, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin might identify it using:
During a skin test, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin scratches your skin with the liquid extract of a suspected food allergen. They view your skin about 15 minutes later for red spots, which indicate a possible allergy. Still, they need to do more testing to confirm it.
By taking a sample of your blood and testing it in a lab, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin can determine whether or not your blood contains antibodies to the food in question. A blood test is more conclusive than a skin test.
An elimination diet can help you identify a non-life-threatening allergy or food intolerance. Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin helps you remove foods from your diet and reintroduce them one at a time to find the cause of your reactions.
Food challenges are tests that you take in the office under close supervision. During the test, you consume a suspected food allergen, starting with a very small portion and building up to larger portions. After each portion, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin monitors you for 15-30 minutes for a reaction.
Which foods commonly cause allergies?
You can develop a food allergy to nearly any food or food component that you can name. However, around 90% of food allergies are to one of the following eight foods:
- Dairy products
- Tree nuts
Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin teaches you about your allergy and the specific products you need to avoid because of it.
To learn more about food testing and treatment for food allergies, call Allergy Associates of Utah, or book an appointment online today.