Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. An allergy is your body’s overreaction to a substance you have touched, inhaled or eaten. When this substance enters your body, your immune system goes into overdrive as it works to remove it from your system. Your response to an allergen may be minor — such as sneezing or a runny nose, or it can be very serious and cause a life-threatening response.
According to the leading experts in allergy, an allergic reaction begins in the immune system. Our immune system protects us from invading organisms that can cause illness. If you have an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. This substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
You may not realize how bad your allergies are making you feel. Most people who have allergy testing and receive treatment for their allergen triggers feel much better and enjoy a better quality of life.
Symptoms that may Require Allergy Testing
You may need to see a medical provider who specializes in the treatment of allergies for allergy testing. Treatment is available for children and adults. Some of the symptoms that may signal the need for allergy testing include:
- Itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing or wheezing.
- Skin problems like itching, rashes or eczema.
- Vomiting, diarrhea or cramping after eating certain foods, signaling a possible food allergy.
- An anaphylactic reaction that triggers symptoms in many parts of your body at once.
Types of Allergy Testing
Before you can be tested, you will provide your thorough medical history and complete a physical examination. Then the type of allergy testing you need will be determined. No matter which method is chosen, you can feel confident knowing that all of the testing allergens are FDA approved.
- Skin testing: This method is what most people think of when it comes to allergy testing. A small indentation or prick is made in the skin, and a little bit of the allergen to be tested is introduced. If you have a response, it should be small – like a mosquito bite. Your results can be “read” in about 20 minutes when the reaction is evaluated.
- Challenge testing: For a challenge test, patients are given a small amount of a potential allergen to swallow or breathe in. This method is used most for food or medication allergy evaluations.
- Blood testing: Blood testing is a slower method, but it may be used when other approaches aren’t safe or are not recommended. Your doctor will likely use this method if you have a severe skin condition that makes skin testing hard or impossible, or if you are taking certain medications that may influence allergy testing results.
Once your allergic triggers have been identified, a treatment plan will be developed. This may include injections to suppress your body’s response to an allergen, medications or lifestyle changes that will help you live and feel better.
Call Advanced Integrated Medicine For your Allergy Consultation TODAY: 210-599-9570