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How to Diagnose Food Allergies

The diagnosis of food allergies is a complex process primarily due to the underlying nature of consumable constituents, digestive and other body reactions, multitude of external and internal symptoms, environmental conditions, and climate, among others. The reactions vary according to individuals and the treatment has to be administered accordingly.

The starting point for the diagnostic process has to be the time period within which the allergies manifest themselves. Medical practitioners also differentiate whether the disease is due to food allergy or food intolerance. Unlike the former, food intolerance is caused by enzyme deficiencies and requires a different treatment approach. Moreover, allergies have a longer lasting effect and can cause grave long term problems for the individual.

Food allergies are adverse immune responses caused by Immunoglobulin (Ig) antibodies such IgE (Type I / immediate) or IgG (Type III / delayed). The Type I ailments are generally immediate occurring within a few

seconds to half an hour after ingestion and can be life threatening. Medical experts suggest people suffering from the condition to keep an emergency epinephrine shot with them for immediate self-treatment. Type III allergies or those mediated by IgG are more complex in nature as the antibody does not directly initiate degranulation of mast cells like IgE. The IgG antibody sets off a series of reactive proteins that reacts on the eaten items and releases further protein molecules. The reactions here are delayed and can crop up after a few hours or a few days. The primary concern with the delayed reactions is that they do not indicate a direct correlation with products consumed to the person suffering from the ailment.

We suggest our clients to seek professional help if they suspect they are suffering from a delayed food related problem. Healthcare and related professionals such as family doctors, dermatologists, medical practitioners, allergists or dieticians are trained to do a proper check-up and prescribe the necessary examinations required to identify the issue. The doctors generally recommend a skin-prick test to check whether the allergy is caused due to IgE antibodies while a blood sample is required to do a proper analysis for IgG.

Type I Food Allergy Diagnosis

The immediate nature of the reactions generally allows patients to draw correct conclusions on the products that are causing the problem. However, a skin prick test is always recommended as it helps identify whether the situation is activated by environmental factors such as pollen, chemicals, dust-mites, microbes, etc. besides eatables. The results of the skin prick test are generally available within half an hour. The findings along with the symptoms help the doctors identify whether the condition is a Type I allergy and enables them to recommend medicines and prescribe dietary restrictions to prevent a reoccurrence.

Type III Food Allergy Diagnosis

The delayed adverse reactions require more extensive testing as the reactions are not explicitly or readily seen. The doctors check the symptoms and understand the case histories before recommending the tests. They also consider the dietary patterns of the individuals to determine whether the situation is a case of Type III variety or something else entirely. Doctors may prescribe the standard elimination, observation and reintroduction approach wherein the suspected items are removed from the diet, the body given time to recover and the products are reintroduced to observe any changes. They may also recommend more advanced tests such as the ImuPro series that lets them know the body's reaction to a comprehensive list of up to 270 items.

The larger food range of ImuPro300 helps determine the exact items that may flare up the issue and enables changes to the dietary patterns which consequently leads to elimination of the problem. The ImuPro tests also include a customised personal meal plan and recipe booklet that removes the eatables that cause adverse reactions from your meals and replaces them with alternatives that takes care of all nutritional needs.

Contact Information

  • +91 8800929600
  • +91 011-42381323
  • neeraj.arora@cmdsingapore.com

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