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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Allergy Testing Pros and Cons

Well I have an appointment for allergy testing. I guess there's still a debate though. Hubby thinks its too much money and not accurate enough. My understanding is that you can have false positives and that it is about 90% accurate these days--with a good allergist/lab. Still-- the alternative is keeping a very accurate food diary and notes on reactions and eliminating all suspected foods for at least a month then slowly reintroducing one at a time to see what happens.

I'm sort of more in favor of just having the testing and getting a better idea where to start with the elimation diet. But-- I have to admit Hubby has a point--it might not be very cost effective. Another thing that is a 'con' with the allergy testing is I must not use any antihistamines for a full week before the tests. Well--I cannot go 2 days without my antihistamines without literally becoming sick. I take them daily. What happens generally is first my ears will fill up and I'll get vertigo and nauseaus and then I'll quickly develop a sinus infection and asthma symptoms. Been there done that--too many times not to be hesitant about it.

I do wonder though, if I am getting sick from things I am eating and apparently allergic or sensitive too--inspite of taking daily antihistamines-- perhaps the food diary would not be so difficult to do. I already suspect that dairy may be a culprit and almost certainly wheat. Possibly oats--not sure on corn. From what I have read a 'real' allergy to corn is very unusual. I think perhaps wheat sets me up and with my system already upset from the wheat I can't digest corn. My own hypothesis. Perhaps if I stop wheat first I will be able to eat corn without trouble?

I did read one source that says that dairy and wheat allergies/sensitivities often go hand in hand. True allergy is dangerous and can lead to anaphylactic shock and death. I do not belive I have allergy that is that serious. I have been the emergency room however with symptoms--but not because I couldn't breath--because of pain. That was a long while ago. However my 'flares' as I call them are getting worse--I know something must be done, diet seems the logical something--food testing of some kind seems the right approach--but to go to the allergist for the pricey testing or to do this on my own--that is now the question.

I think-- all things being equal --that they are probably both more or less effective. Actually it may well be that the elimination experiment may end up the most accurate and cost effective but just take alot longer. I'll have to make that decision quickly because if I wait too long I will be charged a hefty amount for cancelling.

I think I will look for a food allergy book at work today, and maybe some cookbooks. I'm feeling better enough to work but frankly I'm not 100% still--and I'm almost afraid to eat. I've been picking at things like a bird here.

2 comments:

  1. My Dad dies from complications of Celiac Disease...he could not eat gluten in wheat, oats and barley. If you want to eliminate gluten and wheat...go on a diet for celiacs. There is hidden gluten and wheat starch in processed foods, and also in stuff like molasses and gum, cereals that do not contain wheat, but may have been processed on the same machines as a wheat cereal. It is tricky. I know my Dad ate meats that were corn fed, and free ranged. You also have to be sure your pills/capsules have no wheat in the casings or fillers. There is a celiac society who can help you further if you are interested.

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  2. Julie--how awful! I have been reading alot about celiac actually. The inflammation in my biopsy--I don't think is the same thing. I don't think that is what I have unless it is only beginning--however I do think you can be allergic or sensitive to wheat or gluten & not have celiac. I also think it makes sense that eating things you react to probably does damage--as they said they found in my endocscopy. Celiac or not though, if indeed wheat is the problem their websites etc have alot of useful information.

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