If you're the parent of a child with a food allergy, then you know that food allergy skin and blood testing can be confusing. What do all those numbers and letters mean? What do they test for? And most importantly, what do they tell us about our child's risk of an allergic reaction? I wrote this ebook to educate parents on food allergy testing. In it, I explain skin prick testing, blood testing, and ingestion challenges. I also dispel some common myths about food allergy testing.
Here are a couple excerpts!
From Chapter 2. What is Food Allergy Skin Testing?
The Interpretation of Skin Prick Testing
While application of the testing and reading/measuring of the testing is important, it is the interpretation of the SPT that is also critically important.
- A food allergy SPT should only be performed if the allergist suspects the patient has an IgE-mediated food allergy.
- SPT should be used to help support the allergist’s diagnosis and to help inform the allergist’s risk-stratification of the patient actually having food allergy.
- A positive SPT does not necessarily mean the patient is allergic.
- More on all this later!
From Chapter 3. What is Food Allergy Blood Testing?
How the Blood is Tested
Allergy blood testing conducted using an ImmunoCAP machine.
- Blood is collected, and that sample is allowed to clot.
- The serum from the sample is easily collected from the tube and used in the testing as the sample.
- Serum is the blood fluid that lacks cells and clotting factors. Serum contains other substances found in the blood, such as antibodies, electrolytes, and hormones.
- The serum is loaded into the ImmunoCAP machine.
- The ImmunoCAP machine uses special chemicals to detect specific IgE, such as peanut-specific IgE or egg-specific IgE.
- The machine provides a measurement of how much specific IgE is detected.
Thanks for reading this post, and I hope you enjoy the ebook! Do you have any questions about food allergies or food allergy skin or blood testing? Reach out to me! And be sure to check out my other blog posts and podcast episodes about food allergies or food allergy skin or blood testing. Thanks for reading!
– Dr. Hoyt
P.S. Don't forget to get the ebook today!
Are you in need of an allergist in your area? Check out these allergist finder tools:
AAAAI Allergist Finder: https://allergist.aaaai.org/find/
ACAAI Allergist Finder: https://acaai.org/locate-an-allergist
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A note from Dr. Hoyt
I have talked about a non-profit…
Pam and I volunteer with the non-profit The Teal Schoolhouse. Its primary program is Code Ana. Code Ana equips schools for medical emergencies like anaphylaxis.
Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Program helps support that goal. Through this program, you will educate yourself while you support this important mission!
A medical emergency response plan is important for everyone at any school. Code Ana's program Med-E Ready is a comprehensive approach to school-focused medical preparedness. This program guides schools through the process of creating a medical emergency response plan. A response team is also developed! This is one of the most important components of a school's food allergy policy!
Does your kiddo’s school have Code Ana?
You've just read Dr. Hoyt's post “The Food Allergy Mamma's Guide to Food Allergy Skin & Blood Testing: What It All Really Means!” Remember, she's an allergist, but she isn't your allergist, so talk with your allergist about what you've just learned!