What should I do if I think I have a food allergy?

If you think you have a food allergy, it’s important to visit your doctor. Your doctor will ask lots of questions about you and the symptoms you’ve been having. And if your doctor thinks you might have a food allergy, you will have some tests to make sure.

Lyn Turton
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

It is important to speak to your doctor if you think you have a food allergy. They will be able to test for allergy and prevent you removing the food from your diet unnecessarily, which could lead to dietary imbalance. If you are found to have a food allergy, a registered dietitian can help you find alternatives to that food to make sure you are not missing out on vital nutrients.

Louise Goldberg
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Keep a log of the food you are eating and any responses you may experience. Contact an allergist to determine whether further testing needs to be done. Unfortunately blood work and skin testing are not always conclusive and can sometimes lead people to unnecessarily omit important foods from their diet. If you have not been able to identify which food is causing problems, meet with a registered dietitian experienced in food allergies to safely help you through an elimination/challenge diet.

Removing a food, or group of foods, from your diet can leave you with an unbalanced diet, which may cause other health problems. Consult your healthcare provider who may refer you to a registered dietitian before making significant changes in your diet.

Karen Ansel
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

If you are allergic to a food the only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid that food entirely. That said, many people think they have a food allergy when they have another condition entirely. Before you eliminate a food from your diet, speak with your doctor about allergy testing, the only proven method of diagnosing a food allergy.

Jim White
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

If you think you are allergic to a certain food you should stop eating it and set up an appointment to see your physician. A doctor will be able to run a food allergy/intolerance test which will give you a better understanding of the types of foods you should be avoiding.

Food allergy testing is very clearly defined, but many people are relying more on self-diagnosis based on how they respond to particular foods. While your response to a food is part of the diagnostic process, you should not rely on this alone, just as antigen testing cannot be used alone. Given that a food allergy diagnosis can mean elimination of foods, the potential impact on your nutrition is a concern.

If you suspect an allergy, keep an accurate account of the foods you are eating and the symptoms you experience and contact your physician. If you do have an allergy to a particular food, work with a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan that ensures proper nutrition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.