The Facts of Food Allergy Testing
There are lots of different types of food allergy tests some which have scientific backing and others which are less recognised by healthcare professionals. It is important to understand what is available so you can steer towards the allergen test or food sensitivity test which is going to be most beneficial for your problems. Touchwood Pharmacy offers a clinic to help isolate specific food sensitivities by using allergen tests. Food allergy testing is available in Camberley and we also offer food allergy testing in Northampton.
How can a clinic or pharmacy test your food intolerance?
Conventional food allergen tests
These are performed by a registered healthcare professional:-
- Skin prick test – a small amount of the suspect allergen is diluted and placed on the skin and the skin is then pricked. If a swelling or red mark appears then this can be an evidence of a food allergy or specific food sensitivity
- Blood tests – a blood test is used to measure the number of antibodies to a suspect food, this test does not have to be carried out by a GP or health clinician. There are commercial companies who offer a similar product called MAST – Multi-Allergen Screening Test – but their results will be given in isolation from the patient’s clinical history which is a crucial part of the diagnosis
- Food challenges – suspect foods are given by mouth in very small amounts and the quantity is built up gradually whilst the symptoms are observed. Food challenges may be given openly or blinded which is when people are unaware of the actual food they are eating. Because of the risk of severe shock, these tests are usually only carried out under strict medical supervision and in a hospital environment
- Food exclusion and reintroduction – the suspect foods are excluded for a period of time and symptoms observed and recorded. If symptoms improve the suspect food is then reintroduced in tiny quantities
These are the main types of food sensitivity tests which are conducted to test your intolerance but there are others available. For food allergy testing in Camberley and food allergy testing in Northampton, contact Touchwood pharmacy via our website https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/