Doctors often send patients who have had a reaction to a food or environmental allergen for allergy testing.
Allergy Testing plays an important role if finding out what you’re allergic to, along with a detailed history.
Your first visit to the allergist might be scary when you don’t know what to expect. Here are some tips from an allergist:
- Check with your doctor if you are taking any medications. Some, especially anti-histamines, can affect the results of the test. You may need to stop taking these medications before your test but always check with your doctor before doing so!
- Make sure you tell the allergist the full story of your allergy, all the symptoms you have had and why an allergy is suspected.
- Keep an allergy diary detailing everything you eat or drink and if you have had symptoms after or not. Make sure you note how long it took for symptoms to appear, whether food came into contact with your skin, how you treated the symptoms, and any other factors like if you had been exercising, drinking alcohol or if you took any medication before the symptoms.
- Take photos of your symptoms!
- Bring any relevant medical documents (test results, hospital visit records, etc.) and a full list of any medications you are on.
- If there are certain foods that cause problems, bring the labels with you.
- Wear comfortable clothes, skin tests may be carried out on your arm or back so wear something that will allow easy access.
- Some things you can ask:
- What foods you’re being tested for and why?
- What do the test results mean?
- How you can identify and avoid your allergy triggers.
- How serious can your symptoms be?
- When should you follow up?
- Could your allergy improve or worsen over time?
- How can you manage your allergy on a daily basis?
- Make sure you discuss possible reactions, and how and when to treat symptoms.
- Your first visit to the allergist can be an information overload, especially if you are diagnosed with an allergy. Make sure you can leaflets and information that you can take home to go over if you are feeling confused.
For more information about allergy testing, see our other blog “Food Allergy Testing”:
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free. Always seek the advice of an allergy specialist and follow your anaphylaxis emergency care plan.