How do I know for certain that I'm really allergic?
This article is from Living Without, and I have to say it's a terrific article. Many of my customers ask this question because of my son Bradley. We had him skin tested at almost 10 months old, and it was a helpful start. However the test did not pickup every food allergy. Plus, he outgrew several mild food allergies within a few years. Here's what Living Without suggests:
"Diagnosing a food allergy can actually be a complicated task. Generally speaking, there is no perfect diagnostic test. Blood testing for food allergies, typically IgE testing, can be used to confirm a suspected allergy but it’s not great as a screening test for diagnosing food allergies when someone is unsure they’re having a problem. The reason for this is that many people who aren’t necessarily allergic to a food can still test positive with this kind of testing. The same can be true for skin testing. In general, skin testing and blood testing are better at confirming a suspected allergy and ruling out an allergy.
The gold standard test for food allergies is a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC), conducted under the supervision of a board certified allergist. In this type of test, the person with a suspected food allergy is given either the food (usually in a capsule) or a placebo (also in a capsule). Then he or she is monitored for a reaction by a healthcare professional who doesn’t know whether the patient received the food or the placebo. The patient may be given increasing doses of the food or placebo and is closely monitored throughout this process.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, consult a board certified allergist."