Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - 45

45

ILLUSTRATION AND ICONS BY GETTY IMAGES

Allergy Testing
Can Provide
Answers

If it seems as though you
know more people with
allergies in recent years,
you might be right.
"Allergies have become
more common with time-
both hay fever-type allergies and, in particular, food
allergies," says Janna Tuck,
MD, a spokeswoman for the
American College of Allergy,
Asthma & Immunology.
It's not clear why this is
happening. But with the
uptick in allergies, there
has been a lot of interest in
allergy testing-both for food
allergies and "snotty-nose"
allergies (known as allergic
rhinitis, or hay fever).
Skin-prick tests and blood
tests performed by medical
professionals are the most
common options. There
are also at-home tests for
so-called food sensitivities
that you might see advertised online, but Tuck and
other experts caution
that those tests are not
clinically proven to work.
Talk to your doctor
if you're concerned
about environmental
allergies, food allergies
or a food intolerance.

More than 170

foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions

30%

of kids with food
allergies are allergic
to multiple foods

Food allergies in kids in the U.S.
increased 50% between 1997 and 2011

1997

2011

8 foods
account
for more
than 90%
of allergic
reactions

eggs

fish

~15 minutes

The amount of time an
allergist will observe your
skin to see if it reacts to
an allergy skin test. There
are two types: one that
scratches the top layer of
skin and one that injects a
diluted allergen just below
the surface.
Doctors also may order
blood tests or, in the case
of food allergies, an "oral
challenge" in which they
supervise the consumption
of a very small amount of
the suspected allergen.

milk

peanuts

shellfish

soy

PHOTO CREDIT

tree nuts

wheat

VIM & VIGOR FALL 2020



Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC

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