A food sensitivity can cause issues that span a range of severity. In some cases, if you are allergic to a food, you might need medical treatment or else you could die. For most people, food sensitivity leads to conditions that are less dramatic but no less irritating. In fact, some food sensitivities and intolerances can sharply reduce the quality of your life. Here’s what you need to know if you think you have a food sensitivity.
Before your physician orders intolerance testing to determine if you have any sensitivity to a particular food, you’ll undergo a thorough medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about the frequency of any reactions you have, the exact symptoms you experience, how soon after eating the symptoms appear and more. Don’t be concerned if you can’t pinpoint exactly what the culprit is behind your symptoms. Your answers will give the physician a place to start.
With a skin test, tiny liquid extracts of the foods that are suspected to be the problem are dropped onto your skin. Your skin will then be lightly pricked in a procedure that is not typically thought to be painful. If your skin rises to a red bump that is similar to the bite of a mosquito at the site of the drop within 15 to 20 minutes, it shows that you have a sensitivity to that food and might benefit from treatment.
Regardless of which testing method is used, both are reliable at pinpointing food sensitivities or ruling them out. In some cases, a person’s testing can indicate that they are allergic to a particular food but they don’t have a reaction when eating it.
Your physician might suggest that you perform a challenge test. This involves eating or drinking the food in question in small amounts over a certain period of time to determine if you have an allergic reaction. For your safety, a challenge test should only be undertaken while you are being cared for by a physician.
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