Our directory is intended as a resource for people with peanut and nut allergies. It contains foods, helpful products, and much more.
- What is a Peanut Allergy
- Foods to Avoid
- The Allergic Reaction
- Recognizing and Treating Anaphylaxis
- Epinephrine Auto-Injectors
- Medical ID Bracelets
- Support Groups
Peanut Free and Nut Free
Other Food Allergies
Peanut Allergy Diagnosis
There are a few ways to test for a peanut allergy. While the results of allergy testing are a guide to whether the person is allergic, they are not a reliable guide to whether the reaction will be mild or severe.
Peanut Allergy Diagnosis: Blood test
A blood test (called a radioallergosorbent or RAST test) for peanut allergy can measure your immune system's response to peanuts by measuring the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to peanuts.
Peanut Allergy Diagnosis: Skin Prick Test
In this test for a peanut allergy, your skin is pricked and exposed to small amounts of the proteins found in peanuts to see if you have a skin response. If you're allergic, you develop a raised bump (hive) at the test location on your skin. Allergy specialists usually are best equipped to perform allergy skin tests. There is some early indication that the size of the skin response may be indicative of whether the allergy may be outgrown.
It is important to know that a 'positive' skin or blood allergy test means that the body's immune system has produced a response to a food; sometimes these are 'false positives'. In other words, the test may be positive yet the person can actually eat the food without a problem. For that reason, it is important to eventually confirm the significance of a positive allergy test (in some circumstances) with a deliberate supervised challenge.
Although it can be an appropriate way to get a peanut allergy diagnosis, a food challenge should only be done under a health care doctor's supervision, Prior to initiating a food challenge, the peanut allergen must be eliminated from the diet. If symptoms remain unchanged and appropriate elimination diets have been utilized, a peanut allergy is not likely responsible for any symptoms that may be causing concern.
- Wainstein BK, et al, Combining skin prick, immediate skin application and specific-IgE testing in the diagnosis of peanut allergy in children, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology. 2007 May;18(3):231-9.
- M.K. Conover-Walker R.A. Wood, "The risk of food challenges," Journal of Allergy Clin Immunol. Feb 2004-Supplement
- Peanut allergy tests and diagnosis, Mayo Clinic
photo by LittleMan
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