Food Allergy Tests Notoriously Inaccurate

Food Allergy Tests Notoriously Inaccurate

Researchers are busy finding new ways to diagnose food allergies after some studies show the current way of testing isn’t always accurate. It means many children out there might be diagnosed with a food allergy but don’t really have one.

Researchers say it’s because the most common allergy test, isn’t really the best test. For Keli Thomas, it took one cookie to tell her she’s allergic to coconuts. “I immediately had a reaction,” said Thomas. “My throat started to close.”

A skin-prick test confirmed what she already knew but according to a study published in Journal Pediatrics, 50 to 60 percent of the time, skin-prick tests produce false positive results. This is because the skin prick itself can irritate the skin, making it appear to be an allergic reaction.

According to the researchers, 112 of 126 children diagnosed with multiple food allergies could actually tolerate one of the foods that doctors told them they couldn’t eat. “I think the gold standard is an oral challenge, even a double-blind oral challenge, where the allergic person doesn’t know if they are getting a food or a placebo,” said Dr. Dan Sanders, an allergist with St. Thomas Hospital. Doctors say a food challenge is 95 percent accurate but (continue reading at Fox17)


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