If you and your doctor feel that you have a food allergy, your doctor will help you to figure out what foods trigger your allergic reactions. Starting with an elimination diet, your doctor will help you decide which foods to start eliminating, probably starting with the common food allergies: dairy, soy, wheat or gluten, nuts, strawberry and shellfish.
Your doctor will recommend which food to reintroduce over time. Again, keep a dairy. Record any allergy symptoms as you are reintroducing. Your doctor will probably direct you to repeat the elimination diet again with the foods that are still causing an allergic reaction to eliminate any doubts.
During this time you must read all food labels carefully. If you are eating out, bring to the attention to your server, emphasizing that you are highly allergic to reduce the risk of contamination. Many restaurants still do not understand the severity and the liability of a customer having a food allergic reaction at their establishment. Also ask how the food is prepared. Many restaurants use already prepared sauces and foods in their dishes. There are many hidden food allergens such as MSG, preservatives, food dyes, and some allergens hide under different names. For example if you have a wheat allergy, you need to avoid soy sauce as it has wheat in it (opt for tamari sauce instead). As mentioned in my previous post, there are many apps that you can use to help you to keep track.
Healthy Body Antibodies
Skin tests are helpful and useful but they have their downfall. Allergy skin tests will detect only the antibodies in the food. Antibodies are proteins found in the blood that function to help your body to rid itself of viruses and bacteria. They are also called immunoglobulins. Your body has many types of antibodies to destroy different types of viruses or bacteria. There are many things you can do to increase your antibodies and stay healthy. Eat food rich in vitamins and minerals will increase your antibodies production. These foods are considered “functional foods”. They contain healing properties above the basic nutritional value that can stimulate immune functions, increase resistance to infections and stop or slow down pathogenic growth. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish containing high vitamin C and E such as strawberries, pineapples, kiwi citrus fruits, cantaloupe, watermelon, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, garlic, salmon are consider part of the “super antibody” list. They contain a natural antibiotic that helps to build the immunity in the intestines.
There are three types of skin tests –
1. Skin prick or puncture or skin scratch test. This is a 60-minute test where the physician places drops of extracts of the suspect foods on the skin, then uses a short needle to puncture the top layer of skin to allow the droplet to enter directly under the skin.
2. Intradermal Test. This is also about a 60-minute test where a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin.
3. Patch test. This is a 48 hour test where allergens are put on individual patches and are placed directly on the skin. Avoid getting patches wet.
All tests are observed, noted and recorded. If bumps or hives rise around the scratched area, the body produces an antibody for that particular food allergen. To protect the body from this alleged or perceived threat, the immune system of an allergic person produces fighting antibodies called immunoglobulin E. Your doctor will ask you to avoid all allergy medicines, including over-the-counter antihistamines for a few days prior to the test.
Blood or RAST Test (radioallergosorbent test)
The difference between a skin test and a blood test is that the blood test is a more sensitive test than the skin test. Blood tests determine what substances a person is allergic to. The blood test assesses what body allergen-antibodies are being produced. In addition to food testing, blood tests can test for many environmental allergies such dust, mold, pet dander, trees, grasses, weeds. etc.
Blood tests can be done anytime regardless what medications you are taking, including allergy and antihistamines. It only requires one blood withdrawal sample (whereas with the skin prick which can be many tests for various allergens). The blood sample is sent to a lab for testing. Blood test can reveal hundreds of food and environmental allergies at one time. Unfortunately, it can take weeks to get back the results. Also your insurance company may not cover the cost of the test.
We will continue with more food and intolerance and food allergy testing in our next article.
The Healing Place has helped hundreds of adults and children to find long-lasting relief from their chronic pain and digestive issues and heal hormonal imbalances naturally. As much as we love to help everyone, you can learn to be proactive with your health care by learning simple energy healing techniques online by going to HealingPlaceEnergySchool.com
Helen Chin Lui is a certified Reflexologist, Certified Energy Medicine and Reiki Practitioner. She is the founder and owner of the Healing Place in Medfield. She specializes in helping people with chronic digestive disorders. For her free report “Proven Alternative Ways to Heal Common Chronic Digestive Problems: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Keep You From Healing” click here.