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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Nutrition & Diet

Question: food allergiess???


teikelberry - Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:52 pm

I am a 30 yr old femail. I have a potential allergy problem. Back in Jan '05 I went through Rast (blood test) allergy testing for several foods and environmental offenders. All results were negative. Later that year in September and October, I went through skin prick allergy testing for the same types of things. I had all negative results. In the fall of '06 I had repeat skin testing for nuts and various foods (most of which I had been tested before previously with negative results). I became pregnant in December and I started to have more prominent type symptoms often times after eating. I would get really jittery at times, sometimes my mouth or lips would Itch, sometimes I would get an upset stomach, and sometimes I felt like my throat was tight, although there was no indication of swelling. I never broke out into hives or wheezed. Because of these symptoms, my doc performed another RAST (skin testing was out due to pregnancy) for various foods and environmental agents. This time, the test did yield positive results, although primarily low. I tested positive to tomato, green bean, and carrot; all Class I. There was also potential for corn and potato, although it was "unequivocal." I also tested positive to Peanuts (class I) and Almonds (class II) along with Timothy grass (Class II) and Ragweed (class I). Again, most of the numbers were very low and the doc was unsure about "true" allergies. He suggested avoidance for about a month or so and see how I feel. I have been doing that, but still suffering some of the same symptoms. But now I am a nervous wreck when it comes to eating. I've researched and consulted others and the consensus seems to be that because my past RAST and skin testing was negative, the most recent test is likely not valid with a positive reaction. I'm pregnant and concerned about nutrition and now when I eat, I just worry, wondering if I've consumed something bad and now I'm hypersensitive to any body sensations. I was allergic to milk as an infant, but other than that, I've had no problems with any other allergies my whole life. What is your opinion of this situation? Any input would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
htlaeh - Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:06 pm

The first thing you should do is to begin keeping a food journal or diary. Write down what you eat; including the amount of food you eat; what time you eat and how the food is prepared. You should also list any symptoms that occur and exactly what time the symptoms occur. This food journal will give you and your physician insight concerning what, if any, food is causing your symptoms. Your health care provider may use your food journal in their diagnosis. Speak with your physician and/or a registered dietician concerning your journal and the possibility of going on an Elimination Diet. Do not attempt an Elimination Diet on your own due to the possibility of nutritional deficits.

Concerning the tests used to determiine if you had food allergies: The RAST is used to test for antibodies to specific allergens. Normal negative results indicate that you probably do not have a “true allergy”; however, the results of the RAST must always be interpreted and used with caution and the advice of your doctor. Even if your RAST test is negative, there is still a small chance that you do have an allergy.

Note that food allergy is an abnormal response that is triggered by the immune system. It is highly likely that you may have food intolerance, which is more common than food allergy. The immune system does not cause food intolerance even though the symptoms may be similar to the symptoms found with allergies.

There can be many types of food intolerance. However, the most common are intolerance to:

Lactose (cow’s milk and other dairy products)
Tyrosine
Preservatives
Artificial colors
Tomato
Gluten
Corn
Nuts
Eggs
Seafood
Wheat
Flour
Chocolate

There is no reliable blood test or skin test that can confirm food intolerance. If you do have food intolerance, remember that it is very unpleasant but rarely dangerous. You can immediately begin reading food labels and avoid the following: Artificial sweeteners, MSG, Hydrogenated oils or “trans fat”, Sodium Nitrite, Sulfites or genetically modified foods. Also, eat fresh organic foods in place of processed foods.

Remember, to consult with your physician and/or dietician regarding the results of your food diary.
teikelberry - Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:52 pm

Thank you for your reply.

I actually already did keep a food diary, which is how the random foods were identified for testing. I have not been eating the foods now for two weeks, but still seem to have some of the same symptoms. I am keeping another diary.

Do you know anything about the "levels" on the tests and how likely a true allery exists based on those?? Also, what about the negative skin testing I've had? Is it abnormal/strange to have negative skin testing and then have positive food testing? Which should I rely on?

It's just difficult to know how to eat with these weird random symptoms and several negative tests, but now one positive set of tests. Being pregnant also makes it that much more concerning. Does pregnancy ever cause weird allergy type problems?

Thank you for your help.
Maryr77 - Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:44 pm

Hey I'm female, 29, and I'm worrying about this dilemma I haveI went to the doctor I have been sick for a few years now catching alot of infections from kidneys to flus to Bronchitis infections, I have some kind of infection every month, this year has been the worst ever!

I've spent most of the year fatigued and really feeling out of sorts. I went to the Doctor last September when I first felt sick I had a really bad flu and I started to break out in rashes like hives. Since then I have been getting hives and taking anti-histomines prescribed by my Doctor. I had a blood test in February in hospital I had to go in I got really bad pains in my chest and numbness in my arm I found it really sore to breath but I got all checks done and they said my heart was fine and my 6 blood tests were clear.

I had my blood tests done agian 4 weeks ago and it came back with low Iron levels around 11. 3 the nurse said it wasn't by much and I had high Cholesterlo at 5. 1 I'm 29 and slender she also said this wasn't to worry about. After that test I got another blood test to test me for vitamin B12 deficiency and folic acid and coeliac test. After 2 weeks, today I got the results back that my vitamin b12 was normal and the coeliac test was under 12. The nurse asked the doctor and he told me to come back again in 3 months for another blood test.

I'm very frustrated as she gave me no information what to do. Do I stop eating gluten free products for the 3 months or do I keep eating as normal until then. I'd really appreciate advise on this. They are not forthcoming with information and I don't understand what's normal and what says I'm Coeliac. I've been suffering also with Constipation for around two years and I am attending the hopital next month for a Colonoscopy. I also have been suffering with haemoroids with blood every so often but not much and can be sore.

I hope this makes sense!!
I'm from Ireland and live in Ireland are the screening tests different is under 12 bad? I would just like to know if I am coeliac or what's wrong with me.
Can anyone help on this?

History and medications.
I have an uncle that was coeliac when he was a child but he's in his 40's now and eats what he likes. I don't know of anyone else in the family they haven't been diagnosed if they have it.
My current medications are: Xyzal antihistamine
Movical for Constipation
Yasmin the pill
I also have haemoroid cream.
I'm allergic to penicillin and ceffalosporins.
I also broke my left ankle in 1998 I have plates in it now. I had a cystosocopy last June 2006 results were clear.

I had an allergy test done by an allergist and yeast came up. She used bottles with liquid in them and I had to hold them in my hand. I'm sorry I don't know the name of the test.

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