Food Allergy Testing – which are the reliable ones?!

There are many types of ‘tests’ available on the high street and internet. With so much information is available, it is difficult to know what is reliable and scientifically sound. You should always seek medical advice if you suspect an allergy and discuss the use of evidence based conventional allergy testing.

These tests are evidenced based and performed by competent health professionals, below are the different types;
A small amount of diluted allergen (suspected protein that person is allergic to) is placed on the skin and the skin is then pricked. If a small swollen lump or ‘weal’ appears, in conjunction with a detailed clinical history, an IgE mediated food allergy may be diagnosed. This test is only performed under medical supervision.

This was formally known as the RAST (Radio Allergo Sorbent Test), is carried out by measuring the amount of IgE antibodies to a suspect food in the blood. The results are interpreted with a detailed clinical history to give a diagnosis of IgE mediated food allergy. This blood test can be organised by your GP or hospital clinician. There are commercial companies who offer a similar blood test called MAST (Multi-Allergen Screening Test), however as there is no detailed clinical history available with this test, it’s
difficult to give an accurate diagnosis.

Very small amounts of the suspect food are given orally (in the mouth) and symptoms are observed. The food may be given openly or ‘blinded’ (when people are unaware they are being given certain food). Again, this should only be performed under medical supervision where medical facilities and resuscitation equipment
are available.

As a dietitian, I am here to give you the correct nutritional advice and ensure a well balanced nutritional intake which will be tasty, varied and acceptable to you. For dietary advice, contact me on Ph: 085 770 8940 to book an appointment in Greystones, Stillorgan, Rathmines or Dun Laoghaire clinics.Skin prick allergy test