Eating diverse foods can be a great way to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs. Unfortunately, some foods can cause an adverse reaction within the body. For people who suffer from food allergies, dietary restrictions can be a matter of life and death. Determining if you have a food allergy can be challenging and typically requires the assistance of a medical professional.
Here are three types of tests that you can expect to undergo when being evaluated for a food allergy in the future:
1. Skin Prick Test
One of the least invasive tests that your doctor can use to help diagnose a food allergy is a skin prick test. When performing this test, your doctor will use a stopper filled with a solution containing food particles to place a small drop of this solution onto your skin. A needle will then be used to prick your skin, allowing a very small amount of each solution to enter your body.
If you are allergic to a particular food, your body will produce a response in the form of a rash as your antibodies are activated. A skin prick test can be used to evaluate your body's response to several different types of food at once, allowing you to quickly identify foods that could pose a threat to your health.
2. Blood Test
A blood test can also be used to check your body's response to certain foods. If you are not a good candidate for a skin prick test because you have a pre-existing skin condition that could be contributing to the development of a rash, then a blood test is a viable option.
Your results will take longer to receive with a blood test than a skin prick test because your blood sample will need to be sent to a lab for evaluation.
3. Oral Food Challenge
In the rare event that a skin prick test or a blood test produce unclear results, your doctor may recommend an oral food challenge to help determine if you are allergic to certain foods.
Only experienced allergists conduct oral food challenges, and these tests take place in a medical facility with the equipment and medications required to immediately treat any allergic reactions.
You will be given measured doses of a suspect food in increasingly larger quantities and evaluated for a reaction. If you are able to consume the food without a response, it will be ruled out. If you exhibit any signs of an allergic reaction, your doctor will add the food to a list of known allergens.
Being able to accurately identify your food allergies through proper testing will help you better manage your diet in the future. Check out a website like http://www.nwasthma.com for more information and assistance.