Cybele Pascal has been industriously educating herself on the subject of food allergies since it was discovered that her son was suffering from some. If you're wondering if you may have a food allergy or two, Cybele encourages you to be tested.
Of course, how you feel before and after eating certain foods will tell you something. Still, if you might have a food allergy, Cybele recommends that you see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Transcribed from interview:
How can a woman determine if she has a food allergy and which tests are performed?
Is there a test? There’s a lot of controversy about the testing for food allergies right now. There was just a huge report that came out called The JAMA Report which The New York Times covered, ABC, NBC, basically it’s been all over the place.
The first way you probably would go about it is if you feel that you are having a reaction to a food that you eat within two hours, usually a few minutes to two hours after you have eaten it, that’s a good sign that there’s something wrong and you have an allergy and you need to get yourself to an allergist for testing.
How do they test? We need better testing. We actually are at a place right now where they do skin testing. They do a blood test, which they are testing for a RAST in the blood. They are testing to see how much histamine and how many antibodies there are that are made in your own bloodstream against that particular allergen.
And then there’s a double blind test, which is a food challenge, which is a very expensive test and most people don’t do it but that’s probably the most concrete way to test for a food allergy is giving somebody the food that they suspect that they are allergic to and seeing how they react, but you have to be very, very, very careful with that. It needs medical supervision because god forbid the person who is eating that food has an anaphylactic reaction.
So there’s several ways of doing the testing, but obviously your history is very important. Does it make you feel sick? Do you get hives from it? Hives are great indicator of a food allergy.