Allergist Chris Foster, MD: Home testing kits have become really popular recently. We know that foods cause a lot of challenges for people – lots of symptoms that could be allergy, could not be. So we understand that people are looking for an answer and trying to figure out could this actually be something I’m allergic to?
The challenge with home testing kits is that a lot of them aren’t actually testing the proper antibody that we’re looking for in an allergy. Most home testing kits are actually looking for immunoglobulin G, something called IgG to foods, rather than what really causes an allergy, which is IgE or immunoglobulin E.
We want to identify food allergies. We want to be able to partner with patients to really solve what is causing the symptoms. But not everything that foods do to our body is actually an allergy. We’d recommend either skin testing or sometimes blood testing that we can do in our allergy office to really get to the answer and make sure that we have a proper diagnosis.
The challenge with the food testing at home, the kits that you can order, is that you may have some results that are difficult to interpret. You may think they’re positive, and then it may end up with a restrictive diet from essential food proteins and things that kids should be getting, immune adults should be getting. And if we limit those without a true allergy, we’re actually causing more problems than we’re solving.
So come in, talk with an allergist. We’d love to try to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
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