Wall Street Journal Article Tackles Food Allergy Testing

An article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Is Your Kid Truly Allergic? Tests Add to Confusion” discusses food allergy testing and whether those with positive blood or skin tests are truly allergic.

The article cited a recent report from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers in Manchester, England, reported that when 79 children who tested positive for peanut IgE antibodies were given food challenges, 66 of them could eat peanuts safely.

“At the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) conference last year, doctors from National Jewish reported that of 125 young patients given food challenges, more than half could tolerate foods they'd been told to avoid.”

The main point of the article is that blood and skin testing can potentially determine the possibility of an allergy but not whether the individual will develop an allergic reaction. The only way to determine a true food allergy is through a history of reaction or an oral challenge under the supervision of a medical professional.

If your child has been diagnosed with food allergies and you are concerned as to whether the diagnosis is correct, you should consult your physician. If there is a history of reactions to the food in question, a food allergy is likely. If test results are positive, but the individual has never reacted to the food, a food challenge may be necessary.

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