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Food allergy

 

Food Allergy Testing & Food Intolerance Testing from our Harley Street clinic

At the London Allergy and Immunology Centre on Harley Street, we offer food allergy testing, one of the most common concerns for those suffering from symptoms of allergy or intolerance. We also offer the opportunity for you to take an allergy test in the comfort of your own home. Complete the free screening questionnaire here and one of our allergy consultants will make a recommendation on whether or not you would benefit from taking an at home blood test.

If you would like to request an in-person consultation, please use the electronic appointment system or email consultation@ukallergy.com, and include your age and a brief description of the symptoms you are suffering from.

Many people suffer from symptoms related to food allergy or intolerance. Some of the most common questions that our patients ask us after they’ve had a severe reaction and suspect that food was the cause are:

  • Was it an allergic reaction to food?
  • Which particular food was it?
  • Is it going to happen again?
  • What food do I need to avoid?

We can give dietary advice after doing one or more of the following tests:

  • The ImmunoCap ISAC blood test
  • Skin prick test with commercially available food extracts
  • Prick-to-prick test with fresh or cooked food
  • Challenge test with food in a safe hospital environment
  • Blood test Specific IgE to food (note not IgG)

Once the cause of your allergy has been identified, we will advise you on dietary requirements and further treatment, if required.

 

Food allergy or food intolerance?

When a patient experiences mild or delayed symptoms it can be difficult to identify the cause. In many cases an allergy is the cause and the tests outlined above can confirm this. The primary goal is to exclude the possibility of a life-threatening allergic reaction and help you manage your allergies going forward.

If your results from a food allergy test are negative, our doctors will work closely with you, using dietary methods (food and symptom diaries followed by complex bio-chemical tests) to see whether you have a condition known as intolerance. This is usually caused by an absence or low levels of enzymes that break down specific sugars in food. An allergy is not the same as an intolerance and it is important to seek advice from a healthcare professional to determine exactly what your symptoms are caused by.

  • We will take all your symptoms seriously, diagnose using a clinically-proven testing method and, where possible, treat the cause
  • We will try our best to get to the bottom of your symptoms
  • We will explain everything to you, with no hidden charges
  • We use only traditional, clinically-proven medical and scientific approaches (with no ‘magic’ supplements)

Intolerance can be diagnosed by the exclusion of foods one by one, with further reintroduction in a blinded manner, confirming the absence or return of the symptoms.

 

Warning!!!

Do not be fooled by the widely available IgG tests online for food intolerance. There is no need to change your diet if IgG antibodies to food are detected. The presence of IgG antibodies does NOT indicate an allergy or intolerance to a specific food. IgG antibodies to food are formed in all healthy people as a part of the digestion process. There is no specific screening test for intolerance at present. If you would like to do an at home allergy test, we offer that service. You can take the free screening questionnaire here.

 

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Expert Interview at American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology 2011

From Medscape Allergy & Immunology

What the New Food Allergy Guidelines Offer to Clinicians

Expert Interview at AAAAI 2011

Matthew J. Fenton, PhD; Hugh A. Sampson, MD

 

food-allergy-video

 

If your doctor has prescribed adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injector you must make sure you have your auto-injector with you at all times and it is up to date.

If you have an EpiPen, please follow this link to set up an expiry date reminder to your e-mail or mobile phone.

You should also think about wearing an ID that could potentially save your life by giving information about a diagnosed condition to rescuers.

 

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Food allergy and air travel

Although no airline can guarantee the complete absence of peanuts or other allergens from a flight, the allergy policy of airlines varies widely between companies. Choose an airline that will accommodate your needs.

If your doctor has prescribed you an adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injector, make sure that it is in date and you have a letter from your doctor that will allow you to take it on board the plane in your hand luggage.

 

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Airlines and food allergy in the UK

 

British Airways

Website

 

BMA

Website

 

Virgin Atlantic

Website

 

Aer Lingus

Website

 

Ryanair

Website

 

Flybe

Website

 

EasyJet

Website

 

Thomas Cook Airlines

Website

 

Thomson Airways

Website

 

Airlines and food allergy in the USA

AirTran Airways Phone: (800) AIR-TRAN Allergy Policy: Has guidelines for travellers with special needs. Special Meals: AirTran is a discount carrier and does not serve full meals on their flights. They do offer beverage service.

American Airlines Phone: (800)433–7300 Allergy Policy: American Airlines does not serve peanuts in-flight, but does serve other nuts, which may contain traces of peanut. They cannot guarantee that a flight will be peanut-free. Be aware that American Airlines serve roast nuts in the first-class cabin while the plane is in flight. Special Meals: American Airlines offers gluten-free and vegan (dairy-free) meals, which must be booked in advance.

Continental Airlines Phone: (800) 932-2732 Allergy Policy: Continental does not serve peanuts in-flight, but cannot guarantee that food served will be free of all traces of peanuts. Special Meals: Contintental Airlines offers gluten-free and vegan (dairy-free) meals. They must be ordered at least 24 hours before departure.

Delta Air Lines Phone: (800) 221-1212 Allergy Policy As of June 1, 2012, Delta will refrain from serving peanuts on your flight if you notify them at least 48 hours before your flight of your allergy. Until then, Delta will create a “buffer zone” of three rows in front of and behind customers with severe peanut allergies. People seated within this zone will be served non-peanut snacks – the rest of the plane may receive peanuts. Delta will allow you to pre-board and sanitize your seat. pecial Meals: Delta lists the name-brand snacks served on short flights on its web site. Gluten-free meals are available for longer flights. You must contact reservations at least 12 hours before departure for special meals.

Top 10 Tips for Airline Travelers with Food Allergy

from FAAN Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

 

References:

The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical immunology has defined Nomenclatures for Allergy disease. This is described in:

* Johansson et al. 2001. A revised nomenclature for allergy. An EAACI position statement from the EAACI nomenclature task force (Allergy, 56:813-24).

* Johansson SGO et al. (2004). Revised nomenclature for allergy for global use: Report of the Nomenclature Review Committee of the World Allergy Organization, October 2003. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 113 (5), 832-836).

 

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