What is a Food Allergy?
Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs right after you eat any particular type of food and affects numerous organs in the body. Even if you consume the tiniest amount of the allergy-causing food, it can trigger symptoms such as hives, swollen airways, or digestive problems. In some cases, a food allergy can even cause a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
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What Causes a Food Allergy?
Your immune system controls how your body defends itself by identifying foreign invaders and attacking them. When your immune system identifies a foreign invader, it goes into overdrive by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
Each type of IgE has a specific ‘radar’ of sorts for each type of allergen. That’s why some people are only allergic to one thing, while others have allergic reactions to multiple allergens, because they have many more IgE antibodies.
What is the Difference Between a Food Allergy and Food Intolerance?
It is common to have a reaction to certain foods, in most cases it’s an intolerance rather than a true food allergy, but it’s always good to double check. Although they both have many similar symptoms, food intolerance isn’t a serious condition as it doesn’t involve the immune system, whereas a food allergy is more serious. Food intolerance symptoms are mostly limited to digestive problems.
What is a Food Allergy Test Panel?
A Food Allergy Test Panel is a blood test, which may be used to determine allergies and sensitivities to various foods. This blood test measures the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods. IgE triggers food allergy symptoms, which can range from tingling, itching, or swelling of certain body parts to trouble breathing, nausea, or vomiting.
What Does a Basic Food Allergy Blood Test Include?
The following foods are primarily tested in this panel:
- Shellfish (lobster, shrimp, crab, scallop, codfish, blue mussel, salmon, tuna, and oyster)
- Peanut, walnut, and sesame seed
- Egg whites
- Orange, strawberry, and coconut
- Oats, wheat, and corn
Once your allergy triggers are identified, your doctor can help establish a treatment plan that is right for you. While there is not yet a cure for allergic disease, your doctor can properly diagnose the problem and develop a plan to help you feel and live better.
If required, then your doctor will suggest that you undergo Respiratory Allergy Panel test or Ultrasound: Abdomen and Pelvis test for better diagnosis and treatment plan.
When will I receive my results?
Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.