Food Allergy Blood Test
Spotting the Culprit: Food Allergy Blood Test
A simple food allergy can change the way a person live his or her life
for it basically makes this person a little altered than his or her
allergy-free contemporaries. Allergies with certain types of food are
caused by a specific chemical that is a common chemical ingredient in
that same food. So, it is not surprising that an allergy to food may
also cause a reaction to medications which subsequently leads to an
alteration in medications, too.
As a result, medical professionals have been finding ways to detect
food allergies as early as possible before the reactions take place.
There are numerous testing processes that they utilize in finding out
whether a patient is allergic to certain types of chemicals. One of
these tests includes blood testing.
But before going further about blood testing, you should first
understand what goes on inside the body during the allergic process.
There are two ways that the immune system reacts to an allergy. One
approach is that the body, after the detection of allergens, generates
immunoglobulin E or IgE which is a kind of antibody. IgE is then
disseminated in the blood stream. The other approach is the occurrence
of mast cells. Mast cells appear in the body tissues particularly in
common allergy sites like the throat, nasal cavity, oral cavity, skin,
lungs, and the organs of the gastrointestinal system.
There are cases that the capacity to produce immunoglobulin E to fight
off a certain food allergen is in inherited. Individuals who are at
higher risk in being afflicted with food allergies are those who have
blood relations who have suffered from asthma, eczema, and hay fever.
Furthermore, an individual must initially be in contact with the
potential food allergen before his or her body produces the antibody
IgE. As the individual is finally exposed to the allergen the IgE is
then produced and consequently fastens itself to the mast cells. This
team up will eventually cause body chemical reactions the next time the
allergen is eaten by the hapless individual.
Now, this immunoglobulin E is important in the detection for allergies
through blood testing. The most frequently utilized blood tests are
Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) and CAP-RAST (which is basically
similar to RAST but more advanced).
In blood tests, the outcome is ranked from one to six, with one the
least positive and six the most. Blood tests can be utilized in
individuals afflicted with a severe case of eczema since this type of
testing can not be influenced by antihistamines.
Following the drawing of blood samples, it is then sent away to the
laboratories for further evaluation. Blood tests can be pretty much
expensive and results are not immediately available for the patient to
know whether they are allergic to certain food or not.
Eventually, an allergy is diagnosed when the medical professionals
detected the presence of the immunoglobulin E or IgE in the patient’s
blood. But the results of the blood test can not identify if there is a
close connection between the existence of IgE and the allergy’s
intensity. There are even cases wherein the results are negative
although the patient manifests symptoms of food allergy.
In case, blood tests fail there are still other tests that the medical
professionals may utilize to size up your allergy. These tests may
include skin prick tests, elimination diets, and food challenges.
Furthermore, feel free to ask questions to the medical professionals
concerning the results to better understand your condition.