Ep. 5: The types of food allergy testing & why they can be so hard to interpret
Figuring out the art of allergy testing.
Allergy testing can feel overwhelming, scary, and not always black and white. Like most things that pertain to allergies, both food and environment, the answer is not always a straight path. So what do you need to know about allergy testing?
Dr G explains the types of allergy testing you can expect to undergo at the allergist office (skin prick, blood test and oral challenge). She also describes how an allergist uses the data from tests and the patient history to help deduct what the allergen may be. Kortney chimes in with her own experience, since she has seen it all from passing an oral challenge, to failing one, and many false negatives.
What we cover in this episode:
Types of allergy testing: skin prick, blood test, and oral challenges
Explain why allergy tests are a challenge to interpret
Why it is important to know what a false positive and false negative are in regards to allergy testing
The importance of patient history when it comes to interpreting allergy tests
The mind-body connection when undergoing an oral challenge
What happens in a double-blind oral challenge
More on food allergies in episode 2: the science behind an allergic reaction
False positive: a result that shows something is present when it really is not
i.e. Looks like you are allergic but in fact, you can eat the food without a problem.
False negative: an incorrect indication that something is not present when it really is
i.e. Looks like you are not sensitised to the allergen. However, you react when ingested. This can occur when you have antihistamines in your system during a skin prick test, and the reactions are suppressed.