[ Cheyenne's experiencing some food effect issues though she's previously been tested. Since moving into the LivingThruGrace house, she's been in need of an Allergist. Good thing Clawdie & Roxanne can hook her up! :() ]
What is an Oral Food Challenge and why are we talking about it? OFC [ shortened] is a test administered under medical supervision, your doctor, specifically a board certified Allergist. A specific food is consumed in small amounts over a period of time fo see if it triggers an allergic reaction. So what's the point if one has already been allergy tested through blood and or skin prick methods?
There are times when the allergy blood tests and the skin prick tests end in inconclusive results as to the determination of a person being allergic to a certain food. Here is where your doctor might suggest the oral food challenge, because it is more precise in determining a food allergy after a food is consumed.
The food challenge is also given to a patient who's been diagnosed with a food allergy but has now appeared to develop a Tolerance to the food and is thought to be no longer allergic. Are you confused yet? :() Sometimes the body develops tolerances for certain foods that it didn't have before, but it can leave one unsure because of their previous diagnosis.
The test is really simple. The patient eats a bit of the suspected for allergen. If the body tolerates it without any adverse reactions, the amount of food is increased in small steps. Remember NOT to do this on your own if you've had a food allergy with significant reactions without proper supervision of your doctor, because of the risk of an anaphylactic reaction.
[ It's a good thing this woman kept close to her Allergist, because it seems part of her Oral Food Allergy test went south! ]
These tests should be performed in a facility that's equipped with medical supplies such as epinephrine, oxygen, resuscitation equipment, IV fluids and other emergency equipment. Doctors and staff who can monitor you both during and after the oral food challenge are in integral part of this procedure. This is still a serious test. It can be very dangerous to just determine on your own that a food is now safe to eat. Your doctor will work with you on a plan based on your results.
[ Cheyenne's been living with the dreaded summer cold, so it's best for her to wait until she's better before taking the Oral Food Challenge. No worries, she'll be back to better in no time by managing her health with real whole foods filled with antioxidants and nutrients to chase away those germs!! ]
If you have Asthma, and have experienced recent flares, or are suffering from an illness [flu, colds, etc...] it can increase the risk of a reaction. It's best to speak with your doctor to determine a better time in which to perform this food test.
Living with Food Allergies can be challenging and frustrating, but with a good health care team, behind you and arming yourself with knowledge of what to look for, expect and what to do is key to living an successful allergic life!
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