Food Allergy Testing
Did you know that more than 150 foods have been reported to cause food allergic reaction. Among which 8 common food allergies have been listed down for causing serious health issues:
- Tree nuts
Are you allergic to any one of these food? Well the signs are clear, that you might be suffering from food allergy.
What is a food allergy?
Food allergy is a medical condition which usually occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing different symptoms. The immune response is also known or referred to as an allergic reaction. Foods that cause allergic reactions are allergens. Food allergies are reaction to food proteins and can occur at any stage in life.
Should you take it seriously?
Yes, allergic reaction to food are being reported daily and some of the reactions are serious and can be life-threatening. Food allergy produces an immediate adverse reaction; i.e. within seconds or minutes after ingestion of certain foods it produces symptoms such as rashes, sneezing, difficulty in breathing. Hence it requires immediate treatment.
What’s the main reason for food allergy? Why does it occur?
One of the main reason why food allergic reaction occurs because body mistakenly sees food as a threat. To explain in detail, body’s immune system overreacts to an allergen (allergen is known as protein that causes food allergy) by producing antibodies and these antibodies fight off that threat. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight antigens, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. This immediate – response allergy reaction is known as Immunoglobulin E (Type – IgE reaction). The IgE mediated food allergies (eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat) are most common in infants and children. The allergic reaction can involve the eyes, mouth, brain, heart, lungs, gut, skin and its symptoms usually tend to range from mild to severe. A severe symptom of a food allergy can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis & if not treated right away it will cause potential life-threatening complications. Usually histamine is involved in anaphylaxis, treatment with antihistamines will not prevent the more serious complications of anaphylaxis. So currently, Epinephrine is the suggested medication drug for treating anaphylaxis.
What are the common food allergies symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of food allergy range from commonplace to extreme and may include:
- Skin rash (Eczema)
- Hives (Urticaria)
- Sore muscles and joints
- Fainting / Dizziness / Loss of consciousness
- Ear infections
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Rough voice
- Repetitive cough
- Runny or congested nose
- Abdominal pain, and/or stomach cramps, Constipation
- Itching – Mouth, lips, tongue, throat, eyes, skin, or other areas
- Swelling – Lips, tongue, eyelids, or the whole face
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Dark circles under the eyes
- A drop in blood pressure
- Shock or circulatory collapse
- Weak pulse
- Anaphylaxis, it’s a potential life-threatening reaction that can impair breathing and send the body into shock; reactions may simultaneously affect different parts of the body.
Symptoms normally appear within a few minutes to a couple of hours after ingesting the allergenic food, but in some cases they may not appear until days later.
At Health Culture, Food Allergy testing is done for different food Items:
OKRA/LADY’S FINGER (भिन्डी)
BAY LEAVES (तेज पत्ता)
CAPSICUM (शिमला मिर्च)
BLACK PEPPER (काली मिर्च)
ARECA NUT (सुपारी)
Food allergies treatments - How does the process work?
We do food diagnosis based on patients medical history. Our treatment for food allergy consists off:
Oral food challenge will be assessed by an allergist. They will review the patient’s medical history and the symptoms or reactions that have been noted after food ingestion. If the symptoms or reactions of food allergy are recurring, the patient will undergo this specific allergy test.
Our Pricing for Food Allergy & Treatment
Veg Allergy – Rs.2000/-
Inhalants Food Allergy – Rs.2000/-
Non – Veg Food Allergy – Rs.1500/-
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
Firstly, allergy-causing food should be strictly avoided for patients suffering from food allergy. Other way of preventing is to read ingredient labels for all foods or if a product doesn’t have a label, it’s better to avoid eating that food, in that way you can maintain control over the allergy. If your child has a food allergy, make sure all teachers and caretakers know about the food allergy.
There has been no permanent cure for food allergy till now. The best possible solution is to control and avoid allergy-causing food (allergen) as much as possible and treat that specific symptom.
The most common foods to cause allergic reactions are eggs, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nut, fish and shellfish. These foods are normally consumed by everyone, and is most likely to cause serious allergic health issues.
Food allergy can be serious and even fatal within seconds. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. That is why food allergist recommend carrying epinephrine with a current prescription that is not expired and keeping it insulated is very critical.
Severe allergic reactions can affect multiple bodily systems; the five main systems affected can be Skin, Gastrointestinal, Neurological, Respiratory and Cardiovascular.
Allergies tend to run in families & the tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary. If you have allergies, it’s very likely that at least one of your parents might be having the same allergy. It can be passed down through genes from parents to their kids but it doesn’t mean that all of your kids will definitely get them.
If the patient is having any food allergy, Skin tests or Blood tests are quite reliable. To confirm test results, your food allergist may ask you to do a oral challenge test.