Allergy Testing is Coming Soon to Eastside Medical Group in Cleveland!
An allergy is a hypersensitive immune response to a foreign substance (pollen, dust, pet dander, particular foods) that either enters or comes into contact with the body.
In a normal person, the immune system ignores these substances. In an allergic person, the immune system mistakenly overreacts and tries to fight off these harmless substances; which can lead to allergy symptoms.
At Eastside Medical Group, we will have two different types of allergy testing available for our patients who suffer from allergies.
1. Skin Testing for Allergies
Skin testing is the most reliable form of allergy testing.
Because histamine-containing cells are located in high numbers just under the skin, results of skin testing have proven to be more accurate than blood testing in diagnosing allergies. Because we are looking for histamine in the skin, we ask you to stop all antihistamine-type medications for a few days prior to your visit.
Skin testing is ideal for diagnosing allergies to airborne allergens that can lead to allergic rhinitis and asthma and can be helpful in diagnosing food allergy. Skin allergy testing is also commonly used to diagnose insect allergy and occasionally drug allergy.
The Skin Test Procedure
The surface of your skin is “scratched” with tiny amounts of a number of specific allergens. If the results are positive, a small reaction on the skin occurs, usually within 20 minutes. This reaction usually causes some itchiness and is very similar to a mosquito bite. This indicates that you are very allergic to that specific trigger.
If no bump appears, we normally do a follow-up test to that specific allergen with another small injection of extract. Depending on the results of your skin test, your allergist will determine the best way to treat your allergy symptoms.
2. ALCAT Sensitivity/Intolerance Testing
Many doctors quickly prescribe medications to help patients with a variety of conditions, but did you know sometimes simple changes in lifestyle, such as dietary changes, can have a similar impact on an individual’s health?
ALCAT Sensitivity/Intolerance Testing can help provide insight into what may be causing an individual’s symptoms and help them learn what foods to avoid to ensure a more positive outcome without the use of medications that typically come with negative side effects. While there are other methods of testing for food intolerances, this is one of the safest, most effective methods.
What is ALCAT Testing?
The ALCAT Sensitivity/Intolerance Tests are available in a number of panels that test for specific types of foods. There is a long list of panels available and your doctor will recommend the one that will best provide the results you need. These tests can monitor for intolerances or sensitivities to food dyes, herbs, and other various foods.
In addition to foods, these tests can also look at environmental factors, chemicals, medications and more. This will allow medical professionals to make more appropriate treatment recommendations, often without the need for adding medications that can result in negative side effects.
How Does the Test Work?
Instead of having to test you with oral comparison tests, the ALCAT tests use live immune cells extracted from the patient to present the food and other elements to be tested and gauge the response of the cells.
Cells are obtained through a simple blood draw and all tests can be performed at the same time, which offers an advantage over oral testing, which requires one item to be tested at a time with a period of several days between each one.
Patients can expect to get their results much faster from this method of testing and can begin making the necessary changes to their lifestyle to help eliminate conditions, such as asthma, migraines, fatigue, hyperactivity, obesity and more.
Many medical professionals today are interested in finding better ways of treating conditions in their patients. While medications may sometimes still be necessary, sometimes a few simple diet or other lifestyle changes can provide the relief individuals need from their conditions without the introduction of medication.
With the help of ALCAT tests, patients will quickly and easily find out which foods or other elements are having a negative impact on their lives so they can cut them out and live more comfortably.