Do You Need Food Allergy Testing?

People experience food allergies in different ways. Maybe you break out in a rash if you touch peanuts, or perhaps you have difficulty breathing anytime you eat shellfish. People who experience symptoms after eating certain foods may benefit from food allergy testing.

What are food allergies?

Some people experience an immune response after eating, or sometimes just handling, certain foods. The response is triggered because the body mistakenly perceives these foods as harmful. This is known as a food allergy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts make up 90% of serious allergic reactions in the United States.

Food allergy symptoms aren’t the same for everyone. That is, two people who both have an allergy to tree nuts can show different symptoms during an allergic reaction. In fact, your own symptoms can vary from one episode to another.

Symptoms may be mild or severe, and they can develop at various ages. Some people develop rashes, while others have difficulty breathing. Sometimes food allergies cause GI problems, or they may affect your cardiovascular or nervous system. Food allergies can even result in anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can cause death.

Food allergy testing

Since food allergies can be very serious, and in some cases fatal, it’s important to talk to a medical professional if you think that you may have a food allergy. Simply trying to avoid the foods that cause symptoms isn’t enough.

Talk to your primary care physician about food allergy testing if you suspect that you or someone in your family may have a food allergy. Your doctor can refer you to an allergist for testing. Meeting with a healthcare professional will help you understand the severity of your food allergy, and allows you to establish a plan for managing your food allergy effectively.