Allergies: A Leickly Story » Oral Food Allergy Challenges

5 Oct

Allergies: A Leickly Story » Oral Food Allergy Challenges.

 

This study concludes that current testing of food allergy can be largely ineffective.

by

Frederick E. Leickly, MD, MPH

The Purpose of the Study– was to raise awareness about the overreliance on serum immunoglobulin results as the primary indicator for establishing a food elimination diet in children (with atopic dermatitis).

Methods-This was a retrospective chart review of children who were seen for atopic deratitis and food allergy. The number evaluated was 125.

Conclusions- the authors concluded that in the absence of a history of anaphylaxis, the primary reliance on serum food-specific IgE testing to establish the need for a food elimination diet is not sufficient, especially within the population of children with atopic dermatitis. Oral food challenges are indicated to confirm the presence of a food allergy.

There are many messages within this study. The concerns regarding restrictive diets and avidly pursing food allergy diagnostics can lead to;

  1. Failure to thrive due to food restrictions
  2. Parental perceptions about unclear messages about which foods must be avoided
  3. Attempts to treat atopic dermatitis by diet alone and not proper skin care
  4. Pressure from parents to get these blood tests for food allergy
  5. Incomplete understanding about the class designations
  6. Applying the well-established food specific IgE values to foods that have not been rigorously evaluated

These concerns are seen with parents, primary caretakers, and yes, even allergists.

 

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