Could you be allergic to certain foods?
Food allergies can be a serious and even life-threatening condition for many people.
I offer skin prick testing for a wide range of foods, including:
- Nuts (such as peanuts, almonds, and walnuts)
- Fruits (such as apples, bananas, and strawberries)
- Vegetables (such as celery, carrots, and potatoes)
- Gluten (found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye)
- Crustaceans (such as shrimp, crab, and lobster)
- Mollusks (such as clams, oysters, and squid)
If you have concerns about a food that is not listed, please let me know, and I will do my best to accommodate your request.
What Is A Food Allergy?
A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to a certain food as if it were harmful. This is a natural reaction in which the immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food protein as an invader and therefore reacts to it. This reaction, which is supposed to protect you, is what is called an allergic reaction. The reaction can range from mild to severe and can occur within minutes to hours after eating the food. Symptoms of a food allergy reaction can include:
- Hives or skin rash
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
The latter bullet points indicate symptoms of a very severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. You should be following advice from the NHS website on when to call 999 in case of an allergic reaction.
It is important to note that not all reactions to food are caused by an allergy. Some people may experience food intolerance, which is a different condition.
What Is Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance occurs when the body is unable to digest or absorb certain components of a particular food. The symptoms of a food intolerance can be similar to those of a food allergy, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. However, food intolerance is not caused by the immune system and is not life-threatening.
A common example of this is lactose intolerance In some cases, a person may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without experiencing symptoms.
Food Intolerance Assessment and Dietary Advice
I can also provide dietary advice following a comprehensive food intolerance assessment.
How is a food allergy diagnosed?
If you suspect that you have a food allergy, it is important to see an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment. An allergist will take a detailed medical history and may recommend skin prick tests or blood tests to determine if you are allergic to a particular food.
Prick to Prick Testing
Skin prick tests are one of the most common ways of diagnosing food allergies. In this test, a small amount of the suspected food allergen is placed on the skin, and the skin is then pricked with a small needle. If you are allergic to the food, you will develop a small bump or hive at the site of the skin prick.
Blood tests can also be used to diagnose food allergies. These tests measure the amount of allergy-related antibodies in the blood, which can help determine if you are allergic to a particular food.
Food challenges may also be used to diagnose food allergies. In this test, you will eat a small amount of the suspected food under medical supervision to see if you have a reaction.
At Holistic Allergy, I provide a range of food allergy testing services, including skin prick tests for a wide range of foods. These can help you determine if you have a true food allergy or food intolerance. Once this is established, we can work on the most appropriate treatment and management for your symptoms.
Prick to Prick Testing
Prick to Prick testing can be performed in the same way as skin prick testing.
The technique can use literally any fresh foods such as fresh nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains (wheat, oats, rye, barley etc.), alcohol or alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, cider, champagne, prosecco etc).
Interested in having an allergy test?
Book an initial phone consultation today
Dr Elena Salagean is a consultant allergist who offers allergy testing, management and treatment options in the UK. She has been quoted by numerous journalists in the UK and USA and is also a researcher and published author on Pubmed.