Your physician may have decided that food allergy testing is in your best interest to better guide you on diet to improve or even alleviate your symptoms by identifying foods that you are allergic to. By identifying potential food allergens, diet changes can be made to improve our physical and mental health.
What to Expect
At this time, food allergy testing is only completed at our Knoxville location. You will arrive to our 5th floor office and sign in as you typically do, letting the receptionist know you are signing in for food allergy testing. One of our friendly medical assistants will bring you back to the room and review briefly your medical information, update your weight and other vital signs. The medical assistant will also ensure your have followed the recommendations of avoiding certain medications that can interfere with allergy testing. This medication list can be found below, but upon scheduling your allergy testing appointment, the receptionist provided you with a copy, titled Nutrition for All. You will be asked to read and sign a waiver stating you understand the risk associated with food allergy testing. Please ask any questions you may have.
Then the nurse practitioner, Tuesday Scalf, CPNP will come and discuss with you and your child the process of allergy testing. She will discuss how allergy testing is done and what to expect during the test.
How is Food Allergy Testing Done?
In a skin scratch test, a very small drop of a liquid food extract is placed on the skin with a light prick. The test is typically completed on the back while the patient lies on the bed on their stomach. This is a safe test and the medical assistant does wear gloves. After the light pricking is done, which only takes seconds, patient and caregiver will stay in the room for 20 minutes to allow successful time for the test to be read accurately. The medical assistant will check on you during the test to make sure you and your child is comfortable.
We have many activities for the patient, especially if young. However, it is recommended that you bring some of the patient’s favorite items. We encourage books and toys. We also have crayons and coloring sheets available.
Reading the Test
After 15-20 minutes the medical assistant will return to the room to measure the skin’s reaction to the test. Positive reactions may look similar to mosquito bite; a raised bump with redness around it. The nurse practitioner will return to the room to discuss your results and provide you with your own copy.
It is recommended that food allergens found on the skin scratch test be removed or avoided from you diet. The results of the test will be sent to your GI physician or nurse practitioner. You will follow up with the GI physician/nurse practitioner who will further guide diet recommendations, including when reintroduction of foods is appropriate.
The nurse practitioner may decide that an Epi-Pen would be appropriate for your child in the event of anaphylactic reaction. The prescription will be sent to your pharmacy and you and your child will be provided hands on education on the use of an Epi-Pen.