Posted on: 13 June 2019
Allergies are nothing to take lightly. A severe allergic reaction could result in serious injury or even death. Food allergies can be especially challenging to identify. A patient may not know that he or she is allergic to a certain food until a severe allergic reaction occurs after ingesting the food. Even then, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact food that triggered the reaction.
An allergist may suggest an oral food challenge to help diagnose an allergy more accurately.
Oral Food Challenge
An oral food challenge is a diagnostic tool that allergists can use to help determine the existence and severity of an allergy. The test requires that the patient ingest foods that are suspected of causing a reaction under direct medical supervision.
An allergist will be able to monitor the patient closely to determine if any allergic reactions occur. If the allergic reaction is minor, the allergist may attempt to cure the patient using oral immunotherapy. An oral food challenge is an effective and fast way to diagnose any food allergy so that the proper treatment can be received.
Many allergists will only turn to an oral food challenge if other types of testing are inconclusive. There are some risks in conducting an oral food challenge. The patient will definitely experience some discomfort when the allergic reaction occurs, and the medical team will need to be prepared to take immediate action to prevent a potential disaster.
Blood and skin tests are less invasive and can be more comfortable for a patient to endure. Your allergist will probably start with a skin test to determine if there is any reaction to certain substances. This test is often referred to as an allergy panel.
If exposure to certain foods causes the skin to react, then a blood test will be ordered. Only when both the skin and blood tests are inconclusive will an oral food challenge be utilized to diagnose an allergy.
There are some dangers associated with oral food challenges, but the benefits outweigh the risks. If you are going to experience an allergic reaction to the ingestion of certain foods, it is better to react in the presence of a team of medical professionals who can help you.
Knowing about your food allergies allows you to keep yourself safe when preparing and eating meals in the future. Talk to your allergist about the possibility of an oral food challenge if you are worried about food allergies.Share