Allergy Testing - Blacksburg,VA

Updated on February 09, 2013
D.L. asks from Blacksburg, VA
14 answers

hi moms. My daughter always had food allergies (mostly skin rash ) which was not terrible and I always could control it . I never did any allergy testing since I believed it is not really worth it and I heard they are not really helpful. But she is growing and her allergies do not dissappear .
Please give me advice - did any of you did allergy testing on your kids , what kind of testing , did they help. Was your child uncomfortable during them? Please any info would be helpful.

Thank you very much,


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answers from New York on

My youngest had allergy testing done w/a simple blood test. My dh had testing done w/the needle sticks which he said weren't all that uncomfortable, but I think that w/younger children they do the bloodwork first & rule things out first b/c that covers a large amount of possibilities. Best of luck.

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answers from Madison on

We (me, my husband, my daughter) have been tested for both food allergies and food intolerances by our Naturopathic doctor using the Elisa/Alcat tests. One of the tests was a saliva test, the other one was a blood test. Neither were a big deal.

It is important to find which foods your daughter is allergic or intolerant to so that she can stay away from them. Over time if you don't find out what you're allergic or intolerant to, the body will continue to become allergic or intolerant to more and more foods because of Leaky Gut/Dysbiosis. In fact, the Leaky Gut needs to be repaired so that food particles don't continue getting into your daughter's bloodstream/body and further aggravating other body systems, making her fall prey to dis-ease and autoimmune diseases.

Also, if she does have Leaky Gut (and it's a sure bet that she does just because she already has food allergies/intolerances and has had them probably from little on?), she probably also has nutrient deficiences.

When I discovered my food allergies and intolerances, I was already 40 years old. I had a LOT of nutrient deficiences because of having had the food allergies/intolerances for so many years; my gut/intestines were VERY leaky. I am now on my 5th year of working on getting my intestines healed. If my parents would have known that I have a casein allergy (to cow milk) when I was little, I might never have developed my gluten and soy intolerances or the 21 other food intolerances that I have (as my gut heals, I am able to eat some of these foods every once in a while).

Once you have one issue with a food, if you don't take care of the issue/problem, you're just going to compound the problem by creating more food allergies/intolerances, which will then make your body weaker and make the body more nutrient deprived.

I would seriously urge you to take her to a naturopathic doctor to get tested for BOTH food allergies as well as food intolerances and to get her the correct nutriceuticals as well as supplements to help mend and heal her intestines so that her body no longer has malabsorption (which she most certainly has, just not a bad case yet).

Food intolerances can be just as bad and insidious as having a full-blown allergy, except that the symptoms take longer to be seen so it's hard to go back and find the trigger. If you get her tested for intolerances, the tests will tell you if her body has a hard time digesting/metabolising that particular food (or pollen or mold or whatever--the test tests for more things than just food, depending on what tests you pay for).

If you take her to a regular allpathic allergist, they do a skin test. We did do a skin test once (all three of us) to check for environmental allergies; if I had to do it all over again, though, I would pay to have the blood test through my naturopathic doctor. It's so much nicer, and you don't have to sit through all those skin pricks, nor do you have to worry about the itching that can come with putting something under the skin that you're allergic to.

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answers from Lexington on

My kids, and I, all had the IgE skin-scratch testing with an allergist. Yes, it was well-worth it. BUT... And I'll get to the BUT in a moment after answering about comfort... The testing was not bad for the older child, but I had to "hug" the toddler the whole time while she wailed in my ear (I'll prematurely need hearing-aids). She got more testing when she was a little older and it was fine. If I could wait until 4 years old, I would, because by then, they understand and it is nothing. At 2-3... it is traumatic!

OK... now, here is the BUT.... many allergies escalate, and the eczema, and more allergic/asthma/inflammatory reactions keep on piling up because many doctors still ignore the mountain of medical literature saying many allergies start in the GUT. We NEED probiotics. Antibiotics and toxins and modern diet wipe out our good bacteria.

AND... there are other types of allergy/immune responses other than just IgE, which can and SHOULD be tested for, such as IgA and IgG (see under "Food Sensitivity TESTS"

I'd had hives... really severe hives... and asthma for YEARS and was on 6 medications and under the care of an allergist when I finally figured out, after MY CHILDREN were found to not be able to have gluten and dairy, that often hives are the only sign a person has that they have Celiac or gluten sensitivity. I got off gluten and dairy and now only need 1 OTC antihistamine instead of SIX medications!!!

I also had systemic yeast and needed treatment for that and we were all in dire need of probiotics and dietary changes.

I confronted my allergist. WHY had he not told me about the connection between my hives and food sensitivities - especially IgG or IgA reactions to gluten/dairy??? WHY??? He said he was well aware of the connection, but never mentioned them to me simply because INSURANCE doesn't pay for those tests. WHAT????? I DON'T CARE!!! First of all, I would have gotten off everything and lived on bananas for a month if that's what it took to figure it out.... or I would have paid for the tests myself!!! You know what it cost in co-pays alone for SIX medications!!!????!!!

So.... YES... testing is well worth it, but IgE alone does not tell the whole story by a long-shot!

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answers from Columbia on

The testing for food allergies is a simple blood draw.

The skin allergy test is a bit uncomfortable..... but I distracted my daughter with a movie during the "wait" time and she was fine.

I think they are helpful because then you know EXACTLY what to avoid. For myself.... I always believed myself to be HIGHLY allergic to dogs. I mean to the point of hives if I even get NEAR a dog. Turns out..... highly allergic to POLLEN, not the dog. Which the dog would get on them when outside.

So, yes.... I would say once they get old enough that the test is reliable it would certainly be useful info.

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answers from San Francisco on

I've had a skin test done on myself for both food and pollens/grasses/trees. The allergist told me there is a 50% false positive rate for food tests and since every food I tested allergic to was something I had eaten in the last 48 hours I doubt the results of the test. The prick of the needle on my back was not so bad it was the awful itching that lasted a couple of hours that was uncomfortable.
My son has had a blood test for allergies. It was just a blood draw.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Until you are about 10-11 blood tests can be highly inaccurate. My allergist does skin test on my kids. The application of the allergen is not painful but the reaction (the greater the allergy the greater the reaction) can be uncomfortable until the testing is over (about 5-10 minutes) and they clean off your skin.

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answers from Chicago on

The allergy testing is a giant waste of money, if you ask me. I have to go yearly to get an EpiPen for my son. Last year I had my daughter tested because she would break out in hives.My allergist only does the skin test. In any case, my daughter tested positive for mold. I already knew she was allergic to mold. So what did this $400 give me? Well, the Dr decided that she needed to go on daily allergy medicine and on a nasal spray.

As it turns out, my daughter was just coming down with a terrible, horrible cold. So, after spending another $300 on nasal spray and allergy medicine for her, I never used any of it because it was clear she just had a damn cold!

In short, unless the allergies are sever enough to require an EpiPen, save yourself the money and hassle. If you know what they should avoid, I don't see what the allergies is going to tell you that you don't already know.

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answers from Detroit on

If they have food allergies, you should have them tested. Both of my kids had skin tests because they had severe reactions, inadvertently. The skin test can tell them what they are sensitive to...which can eventually turn into a full blow reaction. The skin test is not painful. It does get itchy.

They do need to have it repeated because it can change. Both of my kids had reactions when they were 2 or 3. They are now 7 and 10. I found that they grew out of some but not all.

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answers from Norfolk on

Hi, D.:

Check the web for: Elisa/Act

Good luck.



answers from Columbus on

Yes, even if my son had not had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts at 14 months old, we had planned to have him allergy tested later on (probably in kindergarten or thereabouts). As it was, we had allergy testing for his safety, since we knew he had at least 1 severe allergy and wanted to know if he had any others. However, we knew early on (even at a couple of months old) that he was likely going to have allergies. And I firmly believe that more information is better.

Yes, DS was uncomfortable with it. The test that was done was called a "scratch test" and they poke very fine needles (about 8 per lot) into the back. Then, they mark them and wait about 15 or 20 minutes to see what reaction there are to the various substances tested for (which generally are food or environmental things like pollen, cat, dog, horse, ragweed, mold, etc.). But it was over very fast, and to me, knowing what he's allergic to, to safeguard against exposure and/or know how to deal with if exposed to it.

If you had your child vaccinated, it's a little less bad than that, partly because it's fast and not as bad (but there are more of the scratches at one time)

Now, keep in mind that all the things that the person reacts to on their skin might or might not cause a reaction if eaten. For example, people who show no symptoms of allergies to peanuts when they eat them, if they got a scratch test done, they might still get a "positive").

Knowing what she's allergic to and how badly should help with treatment, and a good allergist is a great help to managing health issues related to allergies. That's my 2 cents.



answers from New York on

My youngest had allergy testing done w/a simple blood test. My dh had testing done w/the needle sticks which he said weren't all that uncomfortable, but I think that w/younger children they do the bloodwork first & rule things out first b/c that covers a large amount of possibilities. Best of luck.



answers from Washington DC on

Yes. My son is 11. He has been on allergy shots since he was 3. He has a nut and pear allergy as well as environmental allergies. He has been tested every year, 3 panels of 10 needles each. They put them all on your back at one time, then you wait for 20 mins. The back does get itchy, but it's mostly boredom. We are down to the food allergies and 3 environmental allergies.

Depending on the food allergy, they will sometimes do a blood test (like for nuts). You can also help narrow down the problem foods by keeping a food journal for a week or 2 and writing down any symptoms.



answers from Portland on

I have had skin prick testing for food and environmental allergies and was with my granddaughter when she was around 9 or 10 when she had skin prick testing. Neither one of us were particularly uncomfortable. Some itching but once they washed off the allergen and applied cortisone cream the itching went away.

My granddaughter's first test for allergies was a blood test when she was still a baby under a year old. It showed that she was allergic to several things including diary, peanuts, dog dander, pollen. When she was switched to Nutrimagen, which is dairy free her digestive issues cleared up.

However, she also had asthma and eczema and when she was around 2 or 3 her mother took her to a pediatric allergist who did the skin prick tests, saying it is more accurate tho not entirely so. She tested positive with skin pricks for the same things the blood test showed. She was prescribed an epi-pen for the peanut allergy because that particular allergy can be life threatening.

She outgrew the dairy allergy but not the others. She became a part of a study on treatment for peanut allergies and did have reactions to peanut testing both skin pricks and oral exposure. She had never eaten peanuts up until then. I can tell you more about this study which has shown that one can be rid of peanut allergies.

The staff had my granddaughter watch movies during testing. She didn't complain at all. But then she was used to being itchy because of the eczema. I read during my test and do not remember being overly itchy. Both of us had no difficulty focusing on the movie or on reading.

The reason the allergist does testing is that it gives an idea of where to start in treating allergies which resulted in asthma and eczema for my granddaughter. The few things for which they test are just one of each of several groups that are related. For example if testing shows that one is allergic to the pollen of one plant, they are most likely also allergic to all the other plants in the same group.

Because of the testing and subsequent experiences we know to keep my granddaughter away from blooming trees and to medicate her with an anti-histamine when she has to be outside. She loves to climb trees but doesn't while they're in bloom.



answers from Columbus on

I'd recommend that you see an allergist and get both the skin prick tests and IgE blood tests (Immnocap) for the specific proteins that you suspect. Your daughter could be at risk for an anaphylactic reaction and would need to be prescribed an epi-pen for such a life-threatening emergency. Very often, a food reaction will be mild at first, but with repeat exposure, the strength of the reaction can increase (because the body has more circulating antibodies) to the point where they have an anaphylactic reaction.

The skin prick tests can make their skin itchy for a little while, and the IgE tests just require a blood draw. You really need both tests because the skin prick can give false positives and the blood tests can give flase negatives.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son has had both blood tests and skin tests. Both can produce false positives, so you need to keep in mind that she may be able to tolerate some things that she tests positive for.

The blood test is quick - a stick in the arm and drawing a couple of vials of blood.

The skin test on their back is worse. not painful, but uncomfortable and longer. They do small sticks on their back with different allergens - the pain is minimal for each stick - but then you have to wait about 15 minutes to see how the skin reacts and how big the welts are that develop. It can be pretty uncomfortable and itchy, but it doesn't hurt too much.

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