How to Prepare for a Food Allergy Test
Do you experience unpleasant symptoms on your skin, in your digestive tract, or in your mouth or throat but can’t pinpoint their cause? It could be food allergies.
Food allergies are more common than you may think. Fortunately, you can easily get tested for them.
Here’s how to prepare for a food allergy test…
What to expect at a food allergy test
A lot of people get nervous about food allergy testing if they don’t know what it’s like. You may worry that the tests will be scary or painful. That’s not typically the case.
In fact, you’ll likely find that it is more comfortable than you imagined it to be.
It’s also much faster than most people expect — less than one minute to complete the actual testing.
Food allergy testing involves pressing an applicator against your back. The applicator has multiple points that expose your skin to various antigens.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll be in and out of the office in five minutes. You’ll need to wait for them to process your results and discuss your food allergies with you afterward. Also, the application of the testing takes very little time, but the medical staff will want you to stay in the office so they can watch any reactions develop.
For some people, a food allergy may take a while before symptoms appear. And some symptoms onset gradually.
If you test positive for food allergies, a medical professional will discuss how to avoid that food and what to do if you ingest it and have a reaction.
Things you can do to prepare for allergy testing
The best thing to do before going in for food allergy testing is to relax. The process is simple, and once it’s done you can rest easier knowing that you’re on the path to eliminating annoying or dangerous symptoms associated with eating certain foods.
You can also ask your gastroenterologist or nurse practitioner to write you a prescription for a numbing cream.
Applying the cream to your back before testing can help to reduce the amount of itching you feel from being exposed to the antigens. It also reduces how much you feel the prick of the applicator points, though most people don’t find them too painful.
Signs that you may need food allergy testing
Different individuals exhibit different symptoms from each other when they are experiencing food allergies. If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s a good idea to have allergy testing done:
- Persistent eczema
- Tingling in your throat or mouth after eating
- Repeatedly getting hives or itchy skin
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat after eating
- Wheezing, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain or digestive problems
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting after eating
If you experience severe food allergy reactions, such as difficulty breathing, drop in blood pressure, or rapid pulse, you need emergency care immediately.
Schedule a food allergy test today if you think you may be experiencing symptoms.