Food Allergy

Suspect a food allergy? Don’t try to manage the problem on your own, a simple blood test can help identify underlying allergen triggers

A food allergy (IgE) is usually an immediate reaction, where symptoms may last for a few hours but can be delayed for up to 8 hours. IgE food allergy testing can be used to identify the acute allergic immune response to food proteins, where reactions can range from mild to life-threatening.

To rule out or confirm a food allergy, a simple blood test can measure the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods to determine a food allergy. Blood tests are safer and easier than the traditional skin prick testing, which has the possibility of triggering a severe reaction. The most common food allergies include peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, and sesame.

Many individuals confuse a food allergy with a food sensitivity. Unlike food allergies, a sensitivity is a delayed reaction and is not life threatening. Sensitivities can leave individuals feeling uncomfortable, with symptoms like bloating and fatigue, just to name two. Because an allergic reaction to food can be life threatening, it is important to find out if an individual’s reaction was caused by a sensitivity or by an allergy, to decide on appropriate management.

Symptoms of Food Allergies (IgE) can include:

Skin rash/eczema
Upset stomach
Itchy skin
Tingling or itchy mouth
Tight throat/trouble swallowing
Ear infections
Wheezing/shortness of breath