NoPeanutsPlease is an independent blog.

All views, opinions and conclusions are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement or recommendation by any other party.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blood Testing

One of the toughest moments for the parents of a child with food allergy related anaphylaxis is the first allergy test. Our daughter's skin-prick test felt like an exercise in confirming what we as parents already knew. We had seen severe reactions to peanut and egg so we knew the result before we went in.

The test did not provide us with new information though it was helpful to confirm the sensitivity to peanut and egg allergens. Unfortunately the test is not able to assess severity. It was also interesting to learn that it is possible to trigger an allergic reaction and as a result our daughter was tested using peanut or egg extract without breaking the skin due to her history of prior reactions.

Another option is to go the blood test route. There is an interesting article in the NY Times today about the value of blood tests. Here is a key excerpt from the article:

"Allergists have typically turned to blood testing as a last resort when skin testing cannot be used. ... Yet studies have found that newer blood tests are as sensitive as skin tests and less subjective. The blood test is also part of a larger debate about who should be treating allergy sufferers. Blood testing would allow pediatricians and other primary care doctors to diagnose allergies and treat many patients. But allergists contend that these generalists are not qualified to assess the laboratory results."

This will likely be a hot topic for debate in the short term.

No comments: