The doctors sometimes get confused on how to diagnose their patients in the best way possible as suggested by a recent report from US Academy of Pediatrics.

AAP report lead author Dr. Scott Sicherer pointed out that it’s normal for a person to assume that they have a food allergy, but the truth of the matter may tend to be different. However, a real food allergy entails reaction of the immune system against a certain food which in turn upsets you, but that doesn`t qualify it as an allergy, said Sicherer. He also stressed that it’s vital to differentiate other “unpleasant reactions “to food from an allergy.

According to him, some individuals may be intolerant, for instance, lactose intolerance. Other times it may be just a reaction caused by food poisoning and there also persons who find it hard to eat a lot of food.

A few symptoms of food allergy

Symptoms for food allergy include stomach cramps and hives to a deadly reaction known as anaphylaxis, which tends to interfere with the breathing process shocking the whole body. Persons with a real allergy ought to avoid eating the food that is causing them problem. If need be, they should have an EpiPen (auto-injector of epinephrine just in case of a serious reaction. However, Sicherer refers that as an expense and burden stressing that, having an actual diagnosis is the only way out.

The AAP report reveals that there are doctors who don’t know the best way to diagnose a food allergy. In a certain study about primary care doctors, around 38% mistakenly pointed out that blood tests or prick tests only can diagnose food allergies definitively. Allergy specialist conducts “gold standard” test, which is simply a food challenge. The patient is given little amount of their problem food over a certain period to check whether the allergic reaction can reoccur. However, Sicherer argues that the food challenge isn`t an essential but the context matters. He noted that if an adult or children have long time symptoms that indicate food allergy and blood and skin tests prove the same, such an individual should be diagnosed correctly lest they require adult CPR.

Expert views

The report advocates for improved education on ways to prevent food allergy besides the call for better diagnosis. It happened that some allergy experts held the belief small children can be protected from allergies caused by foods through delayed introduction of eggs, peanuts and daily into their diets. However, this notion was disregarded by Dr. Bruce Lancer, pediatric food allergy program Director at the National Jewish Health, from Denver.

Recent guidelines suggestion may sound counterintuitive. Children who have a higher rate of peanut allergies ought to be fed with foods containing peanut from the age of four months. That should be done when they are of an appropriate age. Lanser suggests that the breast milk can be mixed with smooth peanut butter. He says that exposing a child to peanuts earlier will compel their immune system to devise a tolerance.

All the same, Lanser and Sicherer stressed the need to visit an allergy specialist to make a diagnosis.