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July 19, 2009

LA Times: Blood Tests for Food Allergies are Often Inaccurate & Misleading

On July 20, 2009, the LA Times came out with two articles discussing food allergy testing... and how often they provide misleading information leading to patient actions that are quite simply wrong.

Specifically regarding RAST food testing... Most people will come back showing some IgE food reactivity even if they are not allergic to that food. As such, patients based on these tests, limit their diets unnecessarily.

Even if a patient is truly allergic, the severity can not be predicted by the RAST scores.

At this time, the BEST way to test for food allergies is by patient history and food challenge tests where a person is fed carefully regulated amounts of food, under close supervision, and the amounts are gradually increased.

Read the articles here:
LA Times Story 1
LA Times Story 2

Contact your local allergist for more information.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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