1. What other tests are available for allergy testing?
Skin prick or scratch tests, patch tests, and oral food challenges are usually performed by an allergist or dermatologist. Your health care provider may also try eliminating foods from your diet and then reintroducing them to find out what you are allergic to. It is important that these tests be done under close medical supervision, as a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction is possible.
2. My allergy test was negative, but I continue to have symptoms. What else could it be?
You could have an allergy-like condition that is not mediated by IgE for which there are no specific laboratory tests. You might have a genetic hypersensitivity problem, such as sensitivity to gluten with celiac disease or have an enzyme deficiency, such as a lactase deficiency causing lactose intolerance. Or it could be another disease that is causing allergy-like symptoms. It is important to investigate your individual situation with your healthcare provider's assistance. Test results alone cannot diagnose allergies. Results from any type of allergy test have to be interpreted along with your medical history by a healthcare practitioner who is trained to diagnose allergies specifically.
Although children do outgrow some allergies, adults usually do not. Allergies that cause the worst reactions, such as anaphylaxis caused by peanuts, do not usually go away. Avoidance of the allergen and advance preparation for accidental exposure, in the form of medications such as antihistamines and portable epinephrine injections, is the safest course. Immunotherapy can help decrease symptoms for some unavoidable allergies but won't work for food and the treatment, which usually consists of years of regular injections, may need to be continued indefinitely.
This article was last reviewed on March 6, 2014. | This article was last modified on July 20, 2016.
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