Allergies Diagnosis

Allergies Diagnosis

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    Allergies are diagnosed through allergy testing. You can expect the following if you go for allergy testing. Often, the results are available the same day.
    • Clinical evaluation -- a thorough evaluation is important, including complete medical and family history, as allergies tend to have a genetic component
    • Allergy testing -- this is done through skin testing in the office. A small amount of several allergens are tested on the patient's skin. Results are available 20 minutes after the test is placed. Individuals who are not candidates for skin testing can have blood tests for allergies.
    • Endoscope -- your doctor will carefully examine the inside of your nose to assess other possible conditions such as nasal polyps and sinusitis
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    RAST stands for radioallergosorbent test. This is a blood test used to diagnose allergies. Your blood is drawn and a lab will analyze your blood sample for the level of antibodies that cause allergies. The results will tell what you are allergic to.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    A general practitioner can read diagnostic lab reports showing, say, that a patient has allergic antibodies to pollen and nuts, but not to cat dander, or any number of other combinations. However, the bigger question is whether the tests conflict with or support the patient's history, or whether the expense and time involved could have been avoided just by listening to the patient with a trained ear. The science is there, but you don't have to look at all the molecules every time.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    The delayed hypersensitivity (TB or candida skin tests) test is a descendant of the old tine test, and utilizes either the familiar PPD tuberculin, or candida, mumps, or other substances that most people have been exposed to at one time in their lives. The process involves injecting a few drops under the skin, usually on the forearm. The physician observes the site in 72 hours for a reaction. In a normally functioning immune system, the candida or mumps sites should show a raised, red area. This test is also qualitative as it determines the function of the T cell or cell-mediated system.
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    Your allergist may perform a skin prick test to discover what you are allergic to. The allergist will have solutions of common allergens. During the test, a small drop of each allergen solution is placed on your arm. Then your skin is pricked in order to expose your system to the allergen. Your arm will swell slightly at the pinprick point if you are allergic to that allergen.

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    A answered

    It's important to pinpoint exactly what's sparking your allergy symptoms in the first place. Even if you think you know, it's good to check again down the road because allergies to new substances can develop. Allergy testing from a board-certified allergist or immunologist should take place if you find your symptoms are not being adequately controlled. Allergy tests are practically painless, and because they're more accurate than they used to be, they may actually detect precisely what's causing your allergy symptoms, which in turn will help your doctor tailor an effective treatment plan that works for you. Simple tests like the skin-prick test can help uncover allergies to many common substances, including dust mites, pet dander, mold and pollen.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    When I was training, I had a mentor named Alan Pearlman who told me, "I never test for allergies." I thought he was crazy. Well, if he was, then I am almost crazy, because I test less and less.

    As you develop clinical experience, you find that a good history is much more important than any lab report. Sometimes I will test to confirm what I already suspect.

    Patients and parents of patients don't always like this. They will say, "If you don't test, what am I paying you for?" I tell them, "You are paying me to use all my experience to make you (or your child) better."
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    Skin allergies and their triggers are most commonly diagnosed through skin tests, including scratch tests, prick tests, and most commonly patch tests. Skin testing usually involves a doctor applying samples of allergens to a small area of skin, usually on the forearm, and then sometimes scratching or pricking the skin to let the allergen seep in. After some time, usually anywhere from 15 minutes to 96 hours, the doctor examines the skin to determine whether there was a reaction to the substance. If a person has certain skin conditions or is taking medications that would interfere with a skin test, a blood test that analyzes levels of antibodies may be done instead.
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    A answered

    A RAST (radioallergosorbent) blood test looks for specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your blood. If the antibodies are present, it most likely indicates a true allergic reaction. RAST is the safest type of allergy test, but compared with a skin prick test, it takes longer to produce results and it can't test for as many allergens at once.

    This type of allergy test is typically used only in special circumstances where skin testing is not advised -- for example, if a person has a severe skin condition or is taking certain medications.

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered

    I'd like to expand on what Jim White replied...It's important to determine if you have what is called "allergy" which is a Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction. It is IgE mediated and is immediate. These are not always life threatening but they could be. Think of things like peanuts, shellfish, etc. 

    Then, there are delayed reactions, which are called food sensitivities. They still involve the immune system, but they are not IgE mediated. They are Type 3 and/or Type 4 hypersensitivity reactions. Because they are delayed, dose dependent (not causing a reaction every single time) and person specific, they are hard to isolate. "Allergy" tests will not pick up a type 3 or type 4 reaction. Alcat and LEAP MRT both will - of the two, MRT has better technology at this point since it can quantify reactions. IgG tests cannot identify chemical triggers, and IgG has been shown to be protective as well as pathogenic. 

    Working with a dietitian experienced in this area is paramount. Food triggers can be hidden, and it will work best if the patient can avoid any and all reactive foods for 4-5 weeks while the immune system calms down. Education is needed to do meal planning, grocery shopping, label reading, what to do if a reaction occurs, etc. 

    There are many MRT therapist available, myself included. A doctor is needed to order the test if you wish to use insurance. For those without insurance or with poor insurance, a cash price is available and no doctor is required. Just a blood draw and a good attitude:)

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