BLOOD AND OTHER LABORATORY TESTS
- Immunoglobulin E, also known as RAST (radioallergosorbent) test, is useful when immediate allergy to a food or natural inhalant allergen(s) is suspected.
- Allergy or sensitivity to environmental chemicals is usually investigated with blood tests, which scrutinise the effects of various types of hydrocarbons, organophosphates and chlorinated compounds, known to be involved in chemical sensitivity. A large number of toxic substances can be tested this way including mercury, nickel, benzene, toluene, lindane and so on.
- A host of other tests are also available, depending on the conditions under investigation, including tests to assess: Deficiency of vitamins, minerals or essential fatty acids, adrenal stress, thyroid function, state of cell detoxification, hormone (male or female) assays, mitochondrial activity (ATP), epigenetics (toxins attached on DNA), Genomic tests – assessing risk of common DNA, toxic elements (urine), intestinal fermentation (fungal or bacterial), candida antibodies, detailed stool analysis ……and many others.
SKIN PRICK (SCRATCH) TESTS
- Skin prick tests are more accurate in the identification of inhalant allergens such as dust mites, pollens or animal dander and immediate allergies to foods e.g. peanut. After placing a drop of a dilution of an allergenic substance on the forearm, a tiny, painless prick causes seepage into the skin. If there is a reaction, a localised swelling or "weal" is formed within 10-20 minutes; this is the result of fluid being flushed into the site, brought on by immune cells lying in the skin, some of which release histamine.
- There is a small risk of reaction if skin prick tests are used for the diagnosis of peanut, bee or wasp sting allergy in some hypersensitive individuals. In these cases a blood test, immunoglobulin E, is preferred and safer.
INTRADERMAL (Intra-cutaneous) TESTS
- These involve a painless injection in the top layer of the skin and the measurement of the resulting swelling immediately and 10 minutes later. A growth of the swelling reflects a reaction. These tests are more time-consuming than ordinary skin prick tests but several items can be tested within 2 hours.
- Intra-dermal tests are less liable to show false negative results than skin prick tests and our clinic staff are fully trained to use them to confirm allergies both to inhalants and foods.
- Elimination & Challenge is the best method to identify food reactivities, especially intolerances and is far more simple than it sounds. As delayed food allergy usually involves a number of foods, not just one (as in the case of peanut allergy), a number of suspected foods must be avoided simultaneously for 10-14 days. Many common foods fall into this category. We will provide you with detailed guidance and suggestions on the alternative choice of foods available.
We hope you will have found this information helpful. Should you still have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us by email, telephone or through our Contact form on the website.