Beyond environmental allergies, Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists provides expertise in the evaluation and management of food allergies. Each year millions of Americans suffer allergic reactions to foods. Although most reactions are mild, some lead to significant symptoms and even death. Knowing where you stand is critical.
Food allergies can develop at any moment in any age group. Children and adults are at risk alike. Mild symptoms may not even be recognized as a food allergy, but include itching, rash, hives, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sneezing, nasal congestion and others. More severe symptoms are easily recognized and include lip and tongue swelling, throat closing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, faintness, turning blue or even anaphylactic shock.
The proper treatment of food allergies requires attention to details. We perform thorough medical histories to determine what type of diagnostic tests are necessary. At Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists, we only offer proven diagnostic methods which include skin tests, blood testing, and elimination diets. We have serum available to skin test the most antigenic foods such as egg, milk, soy and others, however, because the number of food allergens is so vast, our blood panel testing measures up to 184 different food allergens.
All testing is simple, easy, and comes with a scheduled follow-up appointment. Food allergies can be difficult because a positive result on testing does not always equal a true allergy. Likewise, just because a result is negative does not mean a patient is not allergic. We sometimes use two different methods of testing for further detail and can even order specialized tests such as peanut-component testing. It is possible that when a patient believes he or she has a food allergy, that they actually have a different non-allergy related disorder such as Lactose Intolerance, Celiac Sprue, gluten sensitivity, or Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. This is where our allergy specialists’ expertise can help you navigate these muddy waters.
Management of food allergies is very patient-specific. Some form of avoidance is usually necessary, but we try to avoid unnecessary dietary restriction so adequate nutrition can be maintained. We offer numerous educational materials and even referral to a nutrition specialist if needed. Below are very helpful websites and resources if you are looking for additional information:
- Food Allergy Research & Education- www.foodallergy.org
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease-www.niaid.nih.gov
- Consortium of Food Allergy Research- www.cofargroup.com
- Choose My Plate-www.chosemyplate.gov
- Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA)- www.kidswithfoodallergies.org
- Eating Well- www.eatingwell.com
- NYT Cooking-cooking.nytimes.com
Alletess Medical Laboratories
Alletess testing can be accomplished through a simple blood draw performed a local hospital. Tests need to be ordered by our treating clinicians and we help decide which panels are most appropriate for you. Results are timely and are sent directly to our office. We review results ahead of time before reviewing them with you. We encourage patients to order a Wellness Plan along with their testing package. A Wellness Plan is a customized dietary plan that helps you navigate your food allergies. It includes much education on what foods to avoid, what foods are okay to eat, and how to healthily eat foods across a four-day rotation plan. It walks patients through both the elimination and reintroduction phases of a food allergy diet. All Wellness Plans are designed by Registered Dieticians on staff at Alletess who are available for further questioning. In fact, Alletess prides themselves on highly trained staff and their unprecedented support for patients.
For more information about Alletess Medical Laboratories, visit: www.foodallergy.com