FOOD ALLERGY DIAGNOSTICS
Children with food allergies have an allergic reaction when they consume certain foods. This happens because their immune system overreacts to the proteins in that food. Eight kinds of food cause most food allergies these include: Cow’s milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Wheat, Soy, Fish and Shellfish.
Signs of a food allergy include:
• A rash, or red, itchy skin
• Stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes
• Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
• Angioedema or swelling
• Hoarseness, throat tightness or a lump in the throat
• Wheezing, chest tightness or trouble breathing
It is common for people and even some healthcare providers to misdiagnose the difference between food allergy and food intolerance. Food allergy can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. On the other hand, a misdiagnosis could mean that you are unnecessarily limiting what you eat.
The gold standard in the diagnosis of food allergies is the oral food challenge. The GOAL of this procedure is to confirm allergy or tolerance to a specific food.
We are pleased to offer this procedure in our office for assessment of food allergies and to allow for early introductions of allergenic foods.
Virtual oral challenges are offered on a select basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past few decades, the incidence of allergic disease has increased with rates of food allergy growing by two – three fold.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food is a process in which a food allergic patient is given very small amounts of the food that they are allergic to, such as peanut or milk. Gradually over a period of 6 – 8 months, the amount of food ingested by the patient is increased until they are able to eat a typical serving of that food.
This is an uninsured service and is not covered through OHIP.