Living with a food allergy, or multiple allergies, can mean a number of things. For some people, the allergy is only a minor inconvenience that rarely interrupts daily life. For others, the allergy can force them to avoid certain social situations or places altogether, for fear that the allergen might be lurking.
But for people who don’t know they even have an allergy until an allergic reaction strikes, the consequences can be extreme. Luckily, advances in allergy testing, including home testing options, have become more prevalent, giving people a better understanding of how their allergy might affect them and how to avoid it.
If you think you might be suffering from a food allergy, these tests could potentially clear the air for you.
One of the most common and preferred allergy tests, skin prick testing, requires a visit to your doctor or allergist. Typically, the doctor will create a grid on your skin to test for various types of allergies by injecting a small amount of food extract into your skin. Within a few minutes a large red bump will form on the skin if the allergy is present.
Sometimes doctors will avoid this type of testing if they feel a serious reaction, like anaphylactic shock, might occur. However, with a professional present, any reaction you might have should be well managed.
Blood testing is not as quick as skin test results, but may provide a safer and more accurate way to uncover food allergies. A blood sample is typically taken at a lab, or potentially, your doctor’s office. The test looks for immunoglobulin, which typically forms in the presence of an allergic reaction. People will typically have to wait up to two weeks for blood test results, but can take comfort in the test’s accuracy.
There are a variety of home allergy tests available nowadays, though some are better and more scientifically accepted than others. MyAllergyTest is one of the most widely used, and is FDA approved. Users must submit a small blood sample to a lab, which is then tested, and results can be viewed online within a few days. It tests for ten of the most common allergies like milk, wheat, egg, and cat dander, and even offers a personalized plan to adjust to your allergy/allergies.