Genesis Integrative Medicine
Allergy Testing Q & A
Allergies are your body’s overreaction to substances that aren’t typically harmful to others. Your immune system reacts to these substances, causing a variety of symptoms that can be severe enough to interfere with your quality of life.
Common causes of allergies include:
- Pet dander
- Insect bites or stings
- Joint pain
Certain foods, including peanuts, eggs, and shellfish, can also trigger an allergic reaction.
Depending on the type of allergy you have, you can experience symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening. Common symptoms of an allergy include:
- Skin rashes
- Shortness of breath
- Runny or stuffy nose
If you have food allergies, you may also experience persistent nausea, vomiting, or other digestive issues.
For some, a life-threatening condition, known as anaphylaxis, can develop after contact with an allergen. This reaction causes inflammation in your airways that makes it difficult to breathe. Without immediate medical treatment, anaphylaxis can cause long-term health complications and even death.
The staff at Genesis Integrative Medicine offers both blood testing and skin scratch testing for identifying potential allergy triggers. By testing a sample of your blood, your provider can confirm the presence of certain antibodies that may indicate an allergy to foods, medicines, and other common triggers.
A skin scratch test, also known as a prick test, scratches the outer layer of the skin to allow the allergen to penetrate. The skin will get irritated and may itch like a mosquito bite. The reaction will identify what allergen a patient may be allergic to. With this test, you will be tested for the 50 airborne allergens in your area and 20 non-inhalant foods.
In the case of food allergies, that test is called a mediator release test (MRT), and the staff at Genesis Integrative Medicine uses the results to provide guidance for an elimination diet. This process eliminates certain foods from your diet, adding them back gradually to determine which may trigger allergies or symptoms of food sensitivities.
Blood testing offers your provider important information they can use to help you prevent exposure to allergens and an allergic reaction. This proactive approach to allergies can reduce your risk for severe allergy attacks and anaphylaxis.
Based on the results of your allergy testing, treatment can include an elimination diet for food allergies. Immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for airborne allergens and can either be done with allergy shots or sublingual drops. Both have an excellent success rate in achieving complete alleviation of patient’s allergies over the course of time.
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The team at Genesis Integrative Medicine is here to help you. Please feel free to call us with any questions.